From the NY Times:
...Mr. Sabini is the hidden story behind what is turning out to be one of the biggest blunders in modern New York political history. Though little known outside his own borough, Mr. Sabini, 52, has been involved in Queens Democratic politics since he was 16. He was elected to the City Council in 1992 and to the State Senate in 2002.
Last year, with his district changing, the Democratic leadership in Queens pushed Mr. Sabini out of office, voting to endorse a challenger in the primary, Hiram Monserrate. The election in November gave the Democrats a narrow majority in the State Senate for the first time in decades. In the magical land of even numbers — such as the State Senate, which has 62 seats — anyone can be king for a day. Even Hiram Monserrate, freshman senator.
Last week, Mr. Monserrate made Democrats all over the state — and especially those in Queens — curse the decision to anoint him last year. With Senator Pedro Espada Jr., he voted with the Republican caucus long enough to give Republicans control, and to appoint Mr. Espada as the new Senate president.
This week, Mr. Monserrate jumped back to the Democratic side of the aisle, but only after pausing long enough to do as much damage as humanly possible to his own county party. The price of his return was the election of a new leader for the Senate Democrats. As it happens, the leader that Mr. Monserrate single-handedly deposed, Malcolm A. Smith, is also a Democrat from Queens.
So how do Queens Democrats feel now about having pushed out Mr. Sabini in favor of Mr. Monserrate? The party’s county leader, Joseph Crowley, the congressman, did not want to discuss the question on Tuesday.
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