Monday, June 08, 2009

When Democrats Become Republicans

Today, two New York Senate Democrats, Pedro Espada of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens, switched parties kinda sorta, remaining D in name, but voting R for a power-share arrangement that hands over control of the legislative body to the Republicans after five whole months of Democratic rule.

With the Republican Party so, um, popular, what kind of Democrat would do such a thing?

Mr. Espada said he was motivated by the unwillingness of fellow Democrats to reform the rules of the Senate. “We had five months of sheer chaos in these chambers,” he said. But his own record could undermine his positioning as a reformer. Mr. Espada has been fined tens of thousands of dollars over the years for flouting state law requiring disclosure of his campaign contributions.

Mr. Monserrate was indicted in March on charges that he stabbed his companion late last year with a drinking glass, leaving a gash that required 20 stitches to close.

Asked Monday how he would coexist with Republicans, he said, “We’ll figure it out, but I’m a Democrat.”
The state attorney general’s office is investigating a health care agency, Soundview HealthCare Network, that Mr. Espada ran until recently. And Mr. Monserrate, who was indicted on felony assault charges in March stemming from an attack on his companion, would automatically be thrown out of office if convicted.
Look, guys, you can have them. Like attracts like, and all that. (And you might want to take the Bronx uber-bigot Ruben Diaz with you while you're at it.)

Next election should be real fun, though. The Bronx isn't exactly GOP territory. (And neither is Queens, for that matter.)

Update: Today's Republican Rebel Yell revolt may have violated parliamentary procedure, and the Dems are still claiming to be in power. This would be exciting if it weren't so boring.