Paterson Could Force Warring Senate to Session

Senators would have to attend but Paterson can't make them vote

Gov. David Paterson will call a special session of New York's Senate Wednesday if battling senators fail to resolve a two-week power struggle, a source said.

Paterson would compel senators to session if they don't settle the leadership question by the end of Monday, the regular session's last day, the source told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Senators, who went home for the weekend, would have to attend but Paterson can't make them vote.

The state official says Paterson is preparing a list of essential legislation requiring action, most of which will extend laws about to expire. Some will let New York City and other local governments arrange taxing or borrowing. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the governor's hasn't yet announced his plan

The power play which began June 8 has eaten up more than a week of the session. Government watchdogs say it remains to be seen whether all the legislative work can be finished.

Republicans said they now had a 32-30 voting edge in the chamber after Democratic Senators Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada tried to form a bi-partisan coalition, but Monserrate waffled and returned, leaving a 31-31 voting stalemate that still lingers.

Meanwhile, Espada plans to file a formal complaint against Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson as the criminal probe into Espada appears to be widening.

Espada has been under scrutiny for alleged misuse of funds in his political campaign, and Johnson is also investigating whether Espada lives in his Senate district, which is required. Espada lives in a co-op in the Bronx, the district he represents, but also
spends much of his time at what he refers to as a second home in Westchester County, the Daily News reported.     

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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