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Senate GOP in control - for now

Senate GOP in control - for now

Editorials: No telling what will happen, though

So much for the outcome of the Amedore-Tkaczyk race determining the balance of power in the New York state Senate.

Credit Majority Leader Dean Skelos and a small group of disaffected (ambitious?) Democrats for leaving nothing to chance and doing a deal that should make whatever happens in the 46th District race moot as far as control of the Senate goes. Or maybe not.

There’s always a chance that the power-sharing arrangement between Skelos and the five-member Independent Democratic Conference won’t hold up. Nobody knows (aside from alternating the Senate’s temporary presidency with him every two weeks) just what Skelos might have promised IDC leader Jeff Klein, to persuade him and four Democratic colleagues to join forces.

The last time such a coalition was formed, in 2009 with Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate, it quickly became apparent that Skelos had gone to bed with power- and money-hungry scoundrels, and that he’d promised the world to get them there. But for however many goodies Skelos had offered Espada, the Democrats got him to jump back by offering even more. We hope control of the Senate isn’t for sale in that fashion this time, or ever again.

How this arrangement will really operate, and whether it will last, remains to be seen. If it does, it would seem to give the Republicans an edge in the Senate; there are, after all, 30 of them and only five IDC members currently. But even if Democrats are successful in winning the last two Senate seats currently up for grabs (Terry Gipson vs. Steve Saland has yet to be decided, in addition to Amedore-Tkaczyk), they would still be a few votes short of controlling the body.

Then again, there’s still a chance the IDC will behave truly independently — voting with Republicans on some issues, mainstream Democrats on others, and forcing Republicans to at least permit some debate and a vote on those they typically block. That would be a refreshing change.

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