The Flip Side of the Albany Mess

The Senate goes home for the weekend with leadership still undecided

I have a suggestion to break the stalemate in Albany. Why not flip a coin? Let fate decide who is going to be the majority leader of the State Senate.       
With the Senate now officially closed for the weekend, a coin flip would be better than the alternative, day after day of stalemate, as the Republicans and Democrats bicker over who will lead the chamber. Thanks to the defection of Senator Pedro Espada of the Bronx from the Democratic majority, the senate is now deadlocked 31 to 31.

Senator Hiram Monserrate has defected back to the Democrats. Monserrate pirouettes like a ballet dancer, back and forth, and all in the name (he says) of reform and good government.  By any sensible standard, by any moral standard, Monserrate and Espada come off as a couple of political punks, celebrating their freshman year in the Senate by tying it up in knots, all in the name of what they define as good government. 

To have Espada sitting there as president of the Senate, a heartbeat away from being Governor, is unconscionable. He is under heavy investigation by prosecutors for alleged wrongdoing in the Bronx. Monserrate faces charges of cutting up his girlfriend with a broken glass. He acts like a choir boy when he's on camera, piously affirming his interest in reform. 

I thought the coin flip was my original idea but then discovered that Dan Janison of Newsday had reported that New Mexico has a law that says, if an election is tied, the winner is chosen by a game of chance. Five-card stud, a simple high-card draw and a coin toss have been used to decide close elections. Perhaps impeaching these two guys for misfeasance or malfeasance would be a more sensible move. 

Then again, if there were a coin-flip solution, who would flip the coin? Certainly, no one in either house of the legislature could be trusted to do the flipping. Perhaps we should ask the new Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Jonathan Lippman, to flip the coin. Then, if the losing side accused him of cheating, he could hold them in contempt. Not that the people don't already hold these two guys in contempt. 

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