And there were even dueling gavels in the room.
Here's the latest dispatch from Mr. Madore:
ALBANY – Chaos reigned in the State Senate today as rival leaders interrupted each other and recognized dueling presiding officers. Republican leader Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre and Democratic leader Malcolm Smith talked over each other during a special session called by Gov. David A. Paterson. Gavels were pounded repeatedly by George Winner (R-Elmira) and Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester). Winner would only recognize Skelos who maintained the Senate was in session. Stewart-Cousins would only recognize Smith who said the Senate was “at ease” awaiting bills from the governor’s office. As Skelos attempted to discuss business, Democrats chatted among themselves, walked around the chamber and some left. As the noise level grew, Skelos asked for quiet. Winner called for order. Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx) gestured to Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), “you keep talking, we’re at ease.” Winner said, “You are out of order!” Hassell-Thompson replied, “How dare you. I’m not out of order, you are out of order.” Some Democrats laughed when Skelos mentioned decorum. The special session lasted about 15 minutes before Skelos called an adjournment because Paterson had failed to provide legislation to be taken up. About a dozen Democrats remained in the ornate chamber as Republicans and their ally, Pedro Espada Jr. (D-Bronx) walked out. Earlier, Republicans and Espada held a regular session with Democrats in their seats but not participating. About 80 bills were voted on unanimously, But those votes may not be valid because senators didn’t actively vote and no stenographer was present. The regular session began at 2:30 p.m. with Winner being blocked by a security guard from climbing the rostrum to the presiding officer’s chair. Winner retreated to the well of the chamber and conducted the session with a small gavel. Winner wasn’t interrupted until the 3 p.m. "start" of the special session when he and Andrew Stewart-Cousins simultaneously called the Senate to order.