Sharpton, Dems meet to discuss Senate crisis

Rev. Al Sharpton and several Democratic state senators came together for a closed-door meeting Saturday to talk about the ongoing power struggle in Albany.
Senators John Sampson, Jeff Klein and Malcolm Smith were joined by Sen. Hiram Monserrate at the Justice House in Harlem to try and resolve the conflict that had brought the Senate session to an abrupt halt two weeks ago. Sen. Monserrate never apologized for his role in the so-called coup, which involved him and Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. creating a coalition with Republicans.
Monseratte later returned into the Democratic fold, leaving the chamber split with 31 votes from each party. Monserrate says he was acting with the needs of his constituents in mind.
"I'm confident that Malcom Smith's leadership, the leadership of John Sampson, the leadership of Jeff Klein and myself, and yes the leadership of Pedro Espada, can work this out and ensure that the Democrats, one day very soon, control the chamber," Monserrate says.
Gov. David Paterson has appointed two mediators to resolve the impasse before the end of the Senate session. Democratic leaders say they would support a deal to give leadership to a temporary bipartisan committee.