So it looks as if the deal between likely Democratic Senate President Malcolm Smith and the "Gang of Three Malcontents" is falling apart in large part due to Malcolm Smith:
A: Refusing to give Pedro Espada a lulu for the do-nothing "Majority Leader" job.*
B: Deciding that allowing a bill granting equal marriage rights to all New Yorkers is a Civil Rights issue and should not be vulnerable to backroom deals.
This is great. This sends a message that functioning government cannot be held hostage by a handful of self-serving bastards. It makes it likely that Upstate will have some real power in the Democratic caucus. And, it makes it clear that pass or fail, Civil Rights legislation will have the opportunity to make it to the Senate floor.
*During the recent unpleasantness, Joe Bruno jointly held the Presidency and Majority Leader's position, essentially making them the same. In my understanding, the power would reside with the President under the Democrats while the Majority Leader position would only be useful for picking up interns.
Personally, I don't care if the Gang of Three do bolt and join a Republican "majority." The consequences will be short-term. In two years, all three will be replace by real Democrats, and the Democrats will then have a real majority to work with. If Smith caves again, there will likely be only one Democrat in all of Upstate next election cycle, and a whole lot of phony Dems from NYC-metro, keeping a real workable Republican majority for a long long time.