Councilman Hiram Monserrate, who as a state senator-elect sided briefly with a break-away caucus of Democrats who say they will not support State Senator Malcolm Smith for majority leader, is now firmly in Smith’s camp.
Even if it’s unclear what his support might bring him.
Monserrate was reportedly on deck to chair the Consumer Affairs Committee and lead a newly-created Latino Caucus in the State Senate. When a power-sharing deal with Monserrate’s three fellow renegades fell apart, it was reported the Latino Caucus would go to someone else.
I asked Monserrate if there’s been any discussion – or was discussion – of what his role might be in the conference.
“We were very clear that there are no definitions on any of these positions, and that they are the subject of future discussions,” he said. “We had a discussion today, and the consensus was that we are moving forward. Who gets what committee or what position in the leadership, I think the majority of senators including myself agree that’s by far less important than ensuring we have a Democratic majority and that the Democrats control the State Senate and that we tackle and deal with the issues that this state faces as Democrats, as opposed to the failed politics of the past.”
I asked Monserrate if, given the plum posts offered his fellow holdouts, he had any regrets about cutting a deal.
“I think that Senator Smith provides the best leadership for the Democrats and the strongest candidate to be majority leader, whatever that winds up being termed,” he said. “Quite some time ago I declared my support for Malcolm Smith. I believe it was the right decision and we moved forward under those parameters.”