ALBANY—State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. just told reporters that he has the keys to the Senate chamber, and he will go inside and conduct a session in conjunction with the Republicans he partnered with in a coup earlier this week.
"We have access, we have keys, and we will open the doors and do our business at 3 p.m.," Espada declared. He alleged that a surrogate for Smith asked David Paterson to have the locks to the chamber changed. "I know that request was made, and it was made by the Democratic conference. The specific individual was turned down. And it was turned down because you just heard from the governor: he wants us to get back to work. Enough child's play."
It's unclear where he got the keys, but then again, this isn't a medieval castle. Keys can be replicated. Also, I know from a tour of Espada's office in January that it opens directly into the Senate gallery. Maybe they would use a rope ladder to descend to the floor?
Espada differed with Paterson on one issue: the need to re-take a vote on the Senate leadership.
"To take another vote today would be to admit that something went wrong on Monday," he said. "We could take that vote a thousand times, but we don't need to take it a thousand times, because we already did it once, and it will withstand the test of any knowledge."
Espada also said that State Senator Hiram Monserrate remains with him bucking Smith and the rest of the Democrats, and that he has had conversations with State Senator Tom Duane.
"His signature issue is my signature issue," Espada said. "If I have anything to do with it, we'll take that matter up in short order. I hope to take that up next week."