The Klein Coalition?
From the Capital Tonight morning memo, which you can subscribe to on the right-hand side of the blog:
On this Thanksgiving eve, Sen. Jeff Klein, the ostensible leader of the Independent Democratic Conference gives us something to chew over.
Klein took to The Journal News — the newspaper that serves the northern New York City suburbs — to expound on the IDC’s accomplishments.
It’s a 600-word treatise on third-way, left-of-center politics and how this grand experiment is playing out in Albany — stuff who follow Klein and Sens. Diane Savino, David Carlucci and David Valesky.
Naturally Klein leaves us with something of a cliffhanger ending:
“We can stay paralyzed in the political power games of the past, or we can embrace a new model of governing in the 21st Century. Such a model should reflect our citizenry and our communities; it should foster diversity, not simply trumpet partisanship. As we have seen over the last two years, we get more done when we work together. For that reason, coalition government may be the model whose time has finally come.”
What does this mean? Tune in after the holiday to find out.
If there’s a move the IDC would need to take, then it won’t be until after all the outstanding Senate races are officially sorted out.
All eyes right now are focused on the achingly slow recount in the 46th Senate District, which includes parts of the Mohawk Valley, Capital Region and Hudson Valley.
Should Republican George Amedore prevail over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, then the IDC’s odes to bipartisanship will continue with little scrutiny.
But should Democrats gain a numerical 32-member majority, the GOP conference will need at least one lawmaker with a “D” next to their name to cast a vote for some sort of “coalition” government that Klein, who also ran on the Republican line this fall, alludes to in his J.J. Abrams-style cliffhanger.
But the essay overall is part of the IDC’s very cautious media strategy post-Election Day.
Klein popped his head up first not in a New York City-based publication, but in The Buffalo News, speaking to Tom Precious. The IDC member who represents a district that is furthest west in the state is Valesky in the Syracuse area.
The story seemed more of Klein’s attempt at raising the IDC’s brand awareness in a different area of the state none of the four represent.
For The Journal News piece, Klein touches a media market that covers Carlucci’s home base of Rockland County (Klein himself represents parts of the Bronx and Yonkers).
But the op/ed also targets moderate suburban voters who have been key to victories for moderate statewide figures like George Pataki or Andrew Cuomo. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that Klein or any of his crew are launching a statewide campaign. Yet he is appealing to a voting bloc that he hopes would be receptive to this brand of politics.
Senate Democrats will no doubt point to the election of George Latimer in Westchester, who has no intention of joining the IDC, as a sign they’re broadening their conference yet again.
The essay also comes a day after Senate Minority Leader John Sampson wrote an op/ed of his own in The Amsterdam News. Sampson writes that the latest contretemps is nothing more than an attempt by the GOP to cling to their power and committee assignments, and that all those progressive goals the IDC says they support won’t materialize.
“The Republicans should have learned the one inescapable lesson from the election, that New Yorkers want a Senate that will undertake a progressive agenda, not offer more of the status quo,” Sampson wrote.
So where does Andrew Cuomo fall in all this?
The Democratic governor — under fire from liberals for not being a fiery liberal — suggested yesterday he just wants a functioning Senate.
“I’m not really interested in their politics,” Cuomo told reporters. “I’m interested in what’s good for the people of the state of New York.”
He added, “We’ve had a good two years, past two years, but we have to keep it going, and this is not the time to put internal politics above functioning government for the people.”
What does this mean? Tune in after Thanksgiving to find out.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on November 21, 2012 at 11:04 am, and is filed under IDC. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|