A high ranking Democratic leader says there has been discussions among Governor Jon Corzine’s staff about removing Joseph Roberts as the Assembly Speaker, although the front office strongly denies that they are focused on anythig but the budget. James E. McGreevey, as the Governor-elect in 2001, engineered a deal to elect Albio Sires as Speaker instead of then-Minority Leader Joseph Doria. Any group of ten Democrats could effectively organize the Assembly, if they can develop an alliance with the 31 Republicans. Similarly, a group of four Democratic State Senators could remove Richard Codey as Senate President with the help of the eighteen GOP Senators. In 1971, after Democrats won control of the State Assembly, Republican Thomas Kean cut a deal with four Democrats from Hudson County to become the Speaker. Codey and Roberts, of course, are perpetual targets of leadership change rumors.