Showdown at the Senate Chamber

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state senate
Photo: Jacob Gershman

This is the Senate head sergeant-at-arms Bill Martin, who has vowed to bar the Republican caucus from entering the locked Senate chamber. The tension is high in Albany at the moment, as the GOP team, who now apparently wield keys, is determined to enter and said they would arrive around 3 p.m. (The group is apparently delayed by wavering on the part of renegade Democrat Hiram Monserrate, who is having second thoughts, according to a Republican source.) An aide to Democratic leader Malcolm Smith asked Governor Paterson this afternoon to change the locks, but the request was denied. "We'll be in the chamber," Martin Golden, a Republican, told New York not long ago. When told that there are nearly 150 assembled reporters blocking the path, and that the sergeant-at-arms didn't seem ready to budge, Golden texted us: "Trust me."