There’s More Where That Came From (Updated)
Daily News Capitol Bureau Chief Ken Lovett reported yesterday that the “trash talk” by some top Senate Democrats and their allies in the labor-backed Working Families Party has complicated – if not outright squelched, the conference’s chances of wooing the renegade IDC members back into the fold.
Only Sen. Mike Gianaris, Klein’s replacement (thanks to Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson) as head of the DSCC shortly before the renegade foursome bolted to form their own conference, is mentioned by name in Lovett’s piece.
It’s also suggested that Klein doesn’t take kindly to seeing his conference of high-minded independents interested in coalition government – certainly not power or patronage – compared to the four Amigos, who had then-Senate Majority-Leader-in-waiting Malcolm Smith over a barrel back in 2008.
Sen. Neil Breslin likened the IDC to the Amigos during a radio interview back in August, saying: “It is only for leveraging…leveraging for power.”
More recently, the Metropolitan Council on Housing specifically compared Klein himself to former Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., who, along with former Sen. Hiram Monserrate, caused the 2009 Senate coup.
All this serves to underscore just how tough it might be for the IDC members and their former colleagues to let bygones be bygones and work together once more, although Klein is reportedly working on his relationship with Sampson.
It turns out that these comments are just the tip of the iceberg, however, when it comes to nasty public statements the Senate Democrats have made about the IDC, and IDC members have made about their newfound preference for bipartisanship. Consider the following:
- Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Jan. 18, 2011. (Remember, she has made no secret of her interest in being leader): “I felt there was too much power given to Sen. Klein, and I wasn’t clear – and I’ve never been clear – that Sen. Klein has been a supporter of John Sampson.”
“…He flew under the banner of the Democratic Party and he used the resources, he used the credibility and he used the title in order to gain his own elevation,” she said. “And then, when he did not achieve the goal of becoming the chair, the head of things the way he believed he was entitled, he took his marbles and got some other people to join him in a game across town.”
- Former Sen. Antoine Thompson (same day, same story): “Once we noticed that a lot of races were going up in flames, people said, ‘Focus on a few races. If DSCC had not been playing in some of these other races, Craig (Johnson of Long Island) would have won and I would have won.”
- Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, Jan. 7, 2011 (asked about the IDC’s departure from the Democratic conference): “The fact that they walked away – I don’t consider them Democrats…”(Klein’s) not in charge and he’s not happy, so he’s taken his ball and gone home to play with his three friends.”
- Sen. Diane Savino (IDC member), Staten Island Advance, Oct. 14, 2012: “We lost the majority and rightly so. The electorate had entrusted us with their hopes, and we abused that trust…I used to believe that if we had a Democratic majority that we’d solve all the problems of the state. I learned the hard way that it’s just not the case.”
Also, recall that in September 2010 (date fixed), Sen. Kevin Parker and Savino got into an expletive-filled verbal altercation that nearly turned physical. Klein and Espada had to intervene, and Savino said at the time that she believed Parker had “lost his mind.” He did apologize profusely for the outburst, however.
UPDATE: So, someone on a particular side of this Senate leadership struggle notes there are more recent examples of the IDC members being antagonistic toward their former colleagues – including their support of Albany County Legislator Shawn Morse in his failed primary challenge to Breslin, the deputy Senate minority leader, this past September. Fair point, which is why I’ve added it.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on December 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm, and is filed under Democrats, State Senate, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|