Coalition claims new way to take NY Senate

(AP) - A coalition of Republicans and a dissident Democrat say they can take control of New York's Senate despite a 31-31 split with the Democratic conference by using a section of the constitution that they interpret as giving their leader two votes.

The coalition argues that the constitution provides Sen. Pedro Espada, who they say they elected Senate president on June 8, one vote as a Bronx senator and one as acting lieutenant governor.

The constitution doesn't address the two-vote question. Robert Ward of the Rockefeller Institute of Government says three constitutional experts in a 2008 symposium agreed the head of the Senate in this situation might just get two votes.

The Democratic conference, however, says court cases reject that.

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