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Another day of rhetoric and recriminations

It was a new day in Albany Wednesday.

But by nightfall, these things occurred: A new round of confusion, finger-pointing, legal threats, mistrust, inaction, political bomb-throwing, soaring rhetoric, claims of reforms, claims of doing "the people's work," locked Senate doors, closed-door meetings, and enough media-spinning from both sides to classify as an F6 tornado.


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What started out as fascinating viewership of partisan politics more than two weeks ago is starting to run its course in Albany.

A reluctant state judge nearly begged the sides to get their act together and fix their own dispute. The most grizzled of Albany's lobbyists kept muttering a common refrain: "I've never seen anything like this." That was only eclipsed by the most-asked question in the hallways: "How is it going to end?"

When might be the better question.

Dozens of key bills — affecting everything from local taxing authority to energy programs intended to help the upstate economy to a Buffalo school construction program -- remain dead for now with the Senate partisan leadership fight.

Enter David Paterson. The governor called a special session for Tuesday to try to bring the sides together. Critics called the gathering, a best, a farce.

Wednesday saw no action.

Today, who knows?

But his fellow Democrats say the governor is mishandling things, both on the short and long term.

In the immediate time zone of Albany, Democrats say Paterson's is adding gasoline to the fire with his late-afternoon media gatherings. In the long term, they say his attacks on fellow Democrats will be well remembered next year when he tries to run for governor.

For his part, Paterson has said he does not care. And, he says he's willing to call out both sides — Republican and Democratic — for their role in the stalemate.

— Tom Precious

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