A reader reports that a friend who lives in IDC Jeff Klein’s district received a telephone poll call that included a question designed to gauge support for former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell is he decides to make good on his threat to challenge Klein in a primary this fall.

The PPP poll call came yesterday – the same day Klein triumphantly announced the addition of a new member to his band of renegade Democrats: Sen. Tony Avella, a former NYC councilman from Queens. The call also included questions about Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

During a brief telephone interview, Koppell said he did not commission the poll, though he is planning on polling soon. He said he had heard about the polling call, but had not received it.

Since I had him on the line, I asked Koppell whether Avella’s announcement changes his calculus at all as he’s mulling possible run against Klein, who has been empowered by the growth of his conference from four members back to five. (Remember: Sen. Malcolm Smith was once an IDC member – the lone member of color – but he was ousted after his indictment on federal corruption charges).

“It’s not a welcome development,” Koppell said. “The whole situation is outrageous, as far as I’m concerned. These people get elected as Democrats and then empower the Republicans; it’s simply disgraceful….But I’m not running against five people – if I run – I’m running against one. So it doesn’t make much of a difference in that sense. There are people who think the whole thing collapses if Klein is defeated. That’s likely, but not certain. I don’t think one more people in the IDC makes much of a difference.”

Koppell said the IDC “seduced” Avella into leaving the so-called regular Democrats by offering to move his bills and promising to give him a committee chairmanship (Social Services, it was announced today, not Aging as predicted by Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.; Aging whet to another IDC member, Sen. Dave Valesky).

“They basically bribed him to come over, but the end result is to empower (Senate GOP Leader) Dean Skelos,” Koppell said. “…The Democrats want to do something, while the Republicans don’t care if nothing gets done. That has historically been true for the whole 40 years that I’ve been around. So, the fact that Skelos has veto power means something to the Democrats. The fact that Klein has veto power doesn’t mean much to the Republicans, because they don’t have much they want to do.”

I also reached out to DSCC Chairman Mike Gianaris, who has met with Koppell to discuss his possible primary challenge to Klein, and asked whether the Senate Democrats might be behind the PPP poll. He told me the DSCC generally doesn’t comment on whether or not it is behind particular polls – which isn’t a “yes,” but isn’t a “no,” either.