Morning Read, Upstate: The Coup Goes to Court

The State Senate remained in a stalemate, with renegade Democrat Hiram Monserrate's partisan loyalties still unclear.

He and fellow turncoat Pedro Espada Jr. entered the chamber with Republicans, using a key Espada Jr. somehow obtained.

But after declaring he will remain "committed to my party as a loyal Democrat," Monserrate walked out of the State Senate chamber, befuddling Republicans.

A staffer chased after Monserrate, shouting "Senator, we need your vote!"

Juan Gonzalez writes he is "bouncing all over the place like a ricocheting bullet."

As he is wooed by both sides, Democratic lawyers want a judge weigh in and declare that Malcolm Smith is still the majority leader. Smith is also facing internal challenges for the leadership of the Democratic conference.

Espada Jr. claimed on the floor that his out-of-district house was burglarized. A story about the investigation does not quote any police.

He is, as Gail Collins notes, "much investigated."

Republican State Senator Tom Libous, suffering from a back injury, remained confident his coalition government would hold until Monday.

Newsday writes about how these machinations are make-or-break for the Republicans, who are hoping to win more seats in the 2010 elections.

The News notes that over $1.7 million was spent to support Senate operations this week, saying "every penny of that bloated sum will be wasted by the less-than-useful idiots who since Monday have made an empty farce of governing."

The Times Union says this is "possibly the worst government we can remember."

Meanwhile, three Hudson Valley counties stand to lose $22 million if the Legislature doesn't get its act together and renew their sales taxes.

Tom Golisano, the billionaire who orchestrated this coup, told a reporter "this week was a pretty rewarding week."

Michael Cherkasky, the head of the Integrity Commission, publicly disputed David Paterson's call for the body's commissioners to resign.

The Post asks: "How weird is it that Paterson has so diminished himself and his office that a star appointee would feel free to diss him so publicly?"

The chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation resigned.

Four Republican state senators called on counties in the mid-Hudson Valley to secede from the M.T.A.

"I'm not leaving," proclaimed Albany's Police Chief James Tuffey, who an investigation shows is not a properly registered police officer.

Senator Chuck Schumer spent $144,000 of taxpayer money flying around New York.

And below, because we've given State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. a pretty hard time for flagrantly ignoring elections laws and always finding himself under the microscope of prosecutors, a Pedro supporter: Morning Read, Upstate: The Coup Goes to Court