Smith’s Big Deal

ALBANY—Malcolm Smith emerged from a closed door conference with the support of 32 elected Democrats, including the so-called gang of three renegades who had until this evening withheld their support.

Smith said he would be “conclusively” elected tomorrow, in a session presided over by State Senator Neil Breslin before David Paterson delivers the State of the State address.He was joined in conference by the gang of three, who then emerged by his side to announce details of the deal.

The agreement gives leadership posts to the gang of three — Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. will chair the Aging Committee, Senator Carl Kruger will chair the Finance Committee and Senator-elect Pedro Espada Jr. will be vice president of the Senate for urban policy, as well as vice chair of the rules committee and chairman of the Committee on  Housing Construction and Community Development.

It is a rapid turn. Diaz said he could not support a leader who would bring gay marriage, which he opposes, to the floor. Esapda had called Smith a “scoundrel and a liar” several weeks ago, and Kruger has regularly toed the Republican line.

Smith also pledged several rules reforms, including measures that would record votes to discharge bills from committees and that pertain to amendments on the floor will be recorded (they are not currently under a rule known as ‘canvass of agreement’). More rules reforms were promised, and will be announced in two months after a commission studying the chamber makes recommendations, Smith spokesman Austin Shafran said.

Smith said that State Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate will be seated tomorrow, and will vote for Smith, despite a pending felony assault charge against him.

After Smith’s remarks, the majority leader to be retired to his office as Senators paid their respects, a la a scene from The Godfather.

Here’s a complete list of new leadership assignments:

Senator Eric Adams: Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs

Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr.: Elections

Senator Darrel Aubertine: Agriculture

Senator Neil Breslin: Insurance

Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.: Aging

Senator Martin Malave Dilan: Transportation

Senator Tom Duane: Health

Senator Pedro Espada, Jr: Vice President of the Senate for Urban Policy; Vice Chair, Rules    Committee, Chair, Housing Construction and Community Development

Senator Brian X. Foley: Ethics

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson: Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections

Senator Shirley Huntley: Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities

Senator Craig Johnson: Investigations and Government Operations

Senator Jeff Klein: Deputy Majority Leader

Senator Liz Krueger: Vice Chair Finance, Chair of Select Committee on Budget Reform

Senator Carl Kruger: Finance

Senator Hiram Monserrate: Consumer Protection

Senator Velmanette Montgomery: Children and Families

Senator George Onorato: Labor

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer: Education

Senator Kevin Parker: Energy and Telecommunications

Senator Bill Perkins: Corporations, Authorities and Commissions

Senator John Sampson: Judiciary

Senator Diane Savino: Civil Service and Pensions

Senator Eric Schneiderman: Codes

Senator Jose Serrano, Jr.: Tourism, Recreation and Sports Development

Senator Daniel Squadron: Cities

Senator William Stachowski: Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky: Higher Education

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins: Local Government

Senator Antoine Thompson: Environmental Conservation

Senator David Valesky: TBD

Smith’s Big Deal