In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The New York State Senate Switch: Back-Room Politics At Its Best

Granted, the source is a Democrat who obviously has an ax to grind with these two troublemakers. But the facts seem to speak for themselves and point to back-room dealing from two Democrats especially practiced at back-room deals.

Sen. Hiram Monserrate of Queens is currently under indictment for alleged domestic violence, and could be removed from office if he is convicted. As the New York Post pointed out at the time of the indictment, his girlfriend initially told police that she had been assaulted, then changed her story after she'd found out they were going to arrest him. Monserrate will now be the vice chair of the Rules Committee, and is officially still a Democrat.

As for the other, state Sen. Pedro Espada of the Bronx, this is the really tricky bit. Espada had previously switched to supporting Republican control, then was defeated for re-election by a Democrat in 2002. He then came back in 2008, winning the Dem primary in another district -- and immediately put his organizational vote up for grabs before ultimately backing the Dems for a while. Espada will now be the Senate President, and is officially still a Democrat.

"So there's a guy who might lose his seat for being convicted of a felony," the source said of Monserrate. And on the other hand is Espada, who has switched from the Dems to the GOP, then back to the Dems, and now again to the GOP. "And this time he was like, 'Oh no, I'll be a Democrat this time,'" the source said.

Another "Gang of Four" legislator, Carl Kruger of Brooklyn, had been appeased by the Democratic leadership by giving him the chairmanship of the Finance Committee. "He was bought off nice and neat," the source said. "Espada and Monserrate were apparently not bought off enough."

(Another fun part of this is that Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith says he's still the Majority Leader, declaring this maneuver to be "an illegal and unlawful attempt to gain control of the Senate and reverse the will of the people who voted for a Democratic Majority.")

Late Update: This post initially said that Monserrate represents the Bronx; he in fact represents Queens.