An Extraordinary Session: Yes Pigeon, No Parker, No Deal

ALBANY—During the Republican half of another lightning-quick extraordinary session this afternoon, I noticed Steve Pigeon sitting on the State Senate floor behind Senator Pedro Espada Jr.

Pigeon, who was one of the principle architects of the coup that has hobbled the chamber, remains the executive director of billionaire Tom Golisano's Reponsible New York P.A.C. When I asked, Pigeon said he was now serving as Espada's private counsel, and expected to be formally put on the Senate payroll when the leadership struggle in the chamber is resolved. Whenever. That. Might. Be.

Liz reported this possibility a while ago, but Pigeon indicated it was all but set at this point. He did not say that would mean he was relinquishing any role at R.N.Y., noting, "If we were in a situation where there was independent expenditures happening, I would have to take some sort of a leave, and that wouldn't be until elections."

(Weirdly, the organization's Web site looks like it has lapsed.)

The session itself proceeded rapidly. Democrats lasted (by my watch) one minute and 48 seconds, with the most notable part of their session being a moment of silence for Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, both of whom died yesterday. Also: Senator Kevin Parker did not appear in the chamber.

Senator Malcolm Smith repeated the Democratic belief that any bills they acted on would be legally precarious. The Republican session lasted two minutes and 15 seconds; they took care, as yesterday, to note that they told the governor the Senate stood ready to do the people's business.

Sources familiar with ongoing negotiations said that the framework of a deal, reported earlier this morning, has fallen apart over difficulties within the Democratic conference and a lack of clarity over Espada's exact title.

"Not true," Espada said of the reported framework. "You're talking to the president pro tem."

An Extraordinary Session: Yes Pigeon, No Parker, No Deal