The state Democratic Senate Campaign Committee has a new staffing line-up and a new-and-improved Web site – complete with blog! – in preparation for the upcoming campaign season (assuming the budget ever gets passed).

The hires are as follows:

– Eric Blankenbaker, press secretary. Worked for former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi’s unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign, on Sen. Joe Lieberman’s 2006 re-election campaign, and led a PR firm (Strauss Radio Strategies) in Washington, D.C.

– Michelle Gross, finance director. Worked for veteran Democratic fundraiser Cindy Darrison on, among other things, Eliot Spitzer’s 2006 campaign for governor.

– Jebel Bennett, deputy finance director. Has worked in NYC and Washington as a political and institutional fundraiser.

– Michael Connery, new media director. Is a political blogger and on-line maven. He has been writing the DSCC’s new blog.

– Jeremy John, political director. Coming to the political side from the government side. Has managed and/or worked field for a number of recent campaigns, including Sen. Joe Addabbo and Sen. Brian Foley.

The DSCC has been slowly remaking itself as Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson settles ever more comfortably into spearheading the majority’s political operation – a job once performed by Senate President Malcolm Smith.

In February Sampson announced he had tapped Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein to chair the DSCC, while Sens. Liz Krueger, Smith and Antoine Thompson to serve as co-chairs.

The DSCC’s first hire in the Sampson era was Executive Director Josh Cherwin, a longtime operative for former VP Al Gore.