Sampson: Democrats Have A Mandate, And I’m Their Leader
ICYMI: Senate Minority Leader John Sampson insisted during an interview with Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” last night that the Democrats will emerge victorious from the ongoing struggle for control of the chamber, despite the defection of Senator-elect Simcha Felder and yet-to-be-determined status of the IDC.
It was, I believe, Sampson’s first extended TV interview since Election Day.
“There’s really not confusion; on Nov. 6, people in the state of New York elected Democrats to run the New York State Senate,” Sampson said.
“If you look at the raw numbers, 58 percent of the vote went for Democrats, 42 percent went for Republicans.”
“…There is a mandate and the will of the people. And the Republicans don’t undertsand that. They won’t accept it. What they’re doing now, everybody’s talking about dysfunction and chaos, and what’s going on. Once again, they’re creating it.”
Sampson noted that the 2009 coup, which deadlocked the Senate for a month and took place on the Democrats’ watch, occurred because the Republicans lured two fickle (and now former) Democratic senators – Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada Jr. – over to their side of the aisle.
“This is what they will do in order to maintain power,” Sampson said.
“They’re more concerned about dealing with the backroom deal, who has leadership, who has the power. But we’re concerned with the living room issues, the kitchen issues. We’re concerned about the progressive agenda.”
Sampson said he has spoken to IDC leader Jeff Klein and plans to sit down with him to “clear the air about some issues,” adding:
“To me it’s about respecting your colleagues. You can disagree you can personal differences, but the people of the state of New York expect us to put those things aside.”
Sampson again expressed disappointment Felder, his fellow Brooklynite, has decided to caucus with the Republicans, and insisted that he and the Democrats have – and will continue – to provide as much support to the Orthodox Jewish community Felder represents as the Republicans have.
Asked by Louis is he would step aside as leader if it were for the good of the conference (this has long been viewed as a foregone conclusion, since Klein has made it quite clear he has no intention of voting for Sampson to retain his spot), Sampson replied:
“I am the leader, and one thing I’ve learned is that I’m not taking anyone’s vote for granted.”
“I learned that just a couple of days ago with Senator Bill Perkins. I just learned that today with Senator Diaz. I will not take any one of our member’s votes for granted.”
“With the question of leadership: We operate as one unit. When the smoke clears there’s two races still outstanding…we believe that we are going to be victorious.”
“Once that is done, we will come together as one conference…we’ll come together, and that’s a decision that we’ll be making.”
Sampson’s comment about Perkins, an outspoken and quite liberal Harlem Democrat, sparked a furious Twitter discussion between several reporters who couldn’t recall hearing anything about a falling out between the two men.
It’s a safe bet more will come out on this today – and if it doesn’t, it won’t be for lack of trying on the part of New York’s political scribes.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on November 15, 2012 at 6:48 am, and is filed under Democrats, John Sampson, Republicans, State Senate, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|