Sen. Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, expounded on his op/ed in today’s Journal News that pitched the idea of a coalition government in the Senate this afternoon on former Gov. David Paterson’s radio show.

Klein told Paterson that the IDC would be a “permanent” third conference in chamber and pointed to the success of the past two years under a Republican majority.

Without committing support to either conference, which is currently locked in two absentee ballot counts that could decide the control of the chamber come 2013, Klein said that his conference could work in a coalition to get things done.

He listed a variety of goals, including increasing the state’s minimum wage and overhauling campaign finance laws as measures that could be accomplished in a coalition.

“If we’re able to promote progressive Democratic values, that’s what governing is all about,” Klein said.

Klein added that he didn’t think all of those goals would “magically happen” if Democrats were in power.

Klein, along with Sens. David Carlucci, David Valesky and Diane Savino formed the IDC nearly two years ago after Republicans regained control of the chamber.

If Democrats win both the 46th Senate District and the 41st, they would have a numerical majority. But one Democrat, Brooklyn Sen.-elect Simcha Felder, has said he plans to conference with the Republicans.

“The idea way to deal with the progressive issues of the day… is through bipartisan governing,” Klein said.

Klein also repeatedly mentioned Cuomo’s efforts at getting those goals accomplished and that a functioning chamber was above all what voters wanted.

His venue to air this was interesting, too.

Paterson was governor during the Senate coup of 2009 and was only able to break through the mess when he appointed a lieutenant governor when the chamber was deadlocked at 31-31 (it later proved to be moot when a Democratic lawmaker returned to the fold). Paterson claimed today that he considered keeping the Senate at 31-31.

Paterson’s drive-time radio show is also a frequent haunt for Cuomo to give the occasional interview as well.