N.Y. Defector Returns To Dems, Leaving State Senate Tied At 31 : It's All Politics One of the two defecting Democrats in the New York state Senate — which gave the GOP control last week — is now returning to the Dem fold. And that will result in a 31-31 split.

N.Y. Defector Returns To Dems, Leaving State Senate Tied At 31

The bizarre saga of the New York state Senate just got bizarrer.

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate, the Queens Democrat who joined the Bronx's Pedro Espada last week to give the GOP control of the state Senate, is returning to the Democratic fold.

The New York Daily News' Juan Gonzalez, who broke the story, reports that Monserrate's move will result in a 31-31 deadlock in the Senate, which "further muddles the question of which party controls that body."

Monserrate told me he made the decision to switch back after a string of meetings he held all day Sunday with key Democrats, including the Rev. Al Sharpton [and] Gov. [David Paterson. ...

Monserrate also must realize that by throwing state politics into a convulsion and switching sides twice in the same week, he is committing political suicide.

But according to those close to him, the immense pressure he received in the past few days from his closest supporters in organized labor and among tenant advocates has taken a toll on him.

In addition, he is facing an upcoming trial on charges that he slashed his girlfriend's face with a broken glass.

In the end, despite his calls for a new governing coalition of Republicans and Democrats, Monserrate did not want to be seen as the guy who killed the first Democratic majority in the Senate in 40 years.

The Daily News' Mike Lupica paints a very surreal picture of the moves by Monserrate and Espada, whom he calls "Dumb & Dumber":

We heard the word "coup" used to describe the move Monserrate originally made with Espada. We also heard that this was all done in the name of reform. Right. Reform in Albany. It will happen at the same time they put a chapel in Tony Soprano's Bada Bing Club.

No matter. Monserrate and Espada, zigging and then zagging, managed to make state government in New York more of a clown show than ever. And all of this would be pretty good for laughs if the stakes weren't so high right now.