Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a powerful Democratic leader in the NY State Assembly, wants to have his rejected bill – backed by the Catholic Church and Agudath Israel of America – brought to a floor vote by the Republicans.
A well placed source very close to the situation in the Assembly and Senate called from Albany early this morning to tell me Lopez is threatening to break party ranks and go over to the Republicans.
The backstory here is supposed to be Lopez's real estate dealings and links to Church-owned real estate. (The Church is one of the largest property owners in Brooklyn.)
The Bishop of Brooklyn, Nicholas DiMarzio has already threatened lawmakers backing the Markey Bill that the Church would close churches and schools specifically in the legislators' districts if Markey passes, as retaliation for their votes for Markey.
Lopez's misbehavior is why the Markey Bill was not voted on last night, and it remains unclear whether the Markey Bill will reach the floor for a vote and, if it does, if it will have the votes to pass.
Lopez and the Church seem to believe that the Assembly's speaker, Sheldon Silver, and other Democratic leaders are so shaken by the Republican coup the Senate that they will give in and kill the Markey Bill rather than face even a small rebellion in the Assembly.
I'll post more details as they become available.