Senator Tom Duane Eyeing Faustian Bargain?


The Senate GOP lured Senator Pedro Espada to their side with the promise of power and lord knows what else. Now they’re hoping to entice Senator Tom Duane, the openly gay Democrat from Manhattan, with a different incentive. Duane has been AWOL since the coup a couple of days ago — he didn’t stand beside Malcolm Smith at a press conference on Monday night, nor did he make an appearance at the Democratic “strategy session” on Tuesday. His car is missing, he won’t answer phone calls, and his spokespeople won’t divulge his whereabouts or activities. (Maybe he’s a superhero?) But City Hall reports that the “scuttlebutt” among lawmakers is that Duane may be negotiating a deal with Republicans — some of whom “he despises” — to join with their ragtag coalition in exchange for bringing the gay-marriage bill to the floor. That’s pragmatic politics for you — buy off one guy with a plum position, buy off another guy with civil rights.

Will Duane Go GOP? [City Hall]