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343Pressuring Klein in Westchester re Senate Majority

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  • Dunleamark@aol.com
    Nov 7, 2012
      So it appears possible if not likely that the Democrats have retaken control of the State Senate.
      The big wild card is Senator Klein, the leader of the so-called four independent moderate / conservative faction. Round two of the four amigos.
      Other than personal power and patronage - and getting rid of Sampson as Majority Leader - unclear what Klein really wants. Sampson of course did a bad job handling the Democrats in their brief tenure in control of the Senate, and certainly their is the smell of corruption around him, with both him and Malcolm Smith tied to the misdeeds around the Aqueduct bid. And certainly a major element of race (African-Americans) and political philosophy. The Senate Democrats under Sampson were certainly more progressive than the Assembly under Silver. Which is a major reason why both Silver and Cuomo were ok with signing off on the partisan gerrymandering deal which gave the Republicans the likelihood of maintaining control
      So Westchester, please help Klein find his path to progressive change.
      On our short list for the special session - raising the minimum wage and campaign finance reform.

      Sen. Dems ahead in three races, including Tkacyzk

      Democrats appeared to pick up three seats in upstate districts, putting them on track to win back the majority in the state Senate.

      Monroe County Legislator Ted O’Brien breezed past Republican Assemblyman Sean Hanna in a Rochester-area district that had been represented by retiring Republican Sen. Jim Alesi. In an unexpected victory, Terry Gipson finished ahead of Republican Sen. Steve Saland by 1,603 votes, with about 9,000 absentee ballots outstanding. Neil DiCarlo, running on the Conservative Party line, won over 16,000 votes.

      And Cecilia Tkaczyk finished 139 votes ahead of Republican Assemblyman George Amedore in the newly created 46th District, according to sources in Tkaczyk’s campaign. Amedore had declared victory in a speech earlier this evening, apparently before all the vote tallies were counted. The race will be determined by absentee ballots.

      In Brooklyn, Democrat Simcha Felder appeared to beat Republican Sen. David Storobin. And Democrats had not given up hope on Ryan Cronin’s challenge to Republican Sen. Kemp Hannon on Long Island.

      Assuming Gipson and Tkaczyk’s victories are affirmed, if Democratic Sen. Joe Addabbo of Queens bests a challenge from New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich and Democratic Assemblyman George Latimer finishes ahead of Bob Cohen, his GOP challenger, Democrats will have a bare 32-vote majority in the chamber — with a big if.

      Mainstream Democrats, who currently number 25, would have to re-unite with the four-member Independent Democratic Conference, which seceded after the 2010 elections and has flirted with Republicans. There’s also concern that Felder might conference with Republicans.

      The situation is fluid, and before the politicking can begin in earnest, both sides will want a clearer picture of the final race results. As United Federation of Teachers President Mike Mulgrew told me earlier today, “They all want to see what’s going to happen tonight, and no one wants to show their cards unless they have to.”

      “I’m sure it’s going to be a drama worthy of Shakespeare,” he said.

      Indeed, Republicans refused to roll over. Campaign spokesman Scott Reif said, “we are confident that once all the votes are in, we will retain our majority.”

      But Democrats crowed.

      “This was an historic night. I don’t know the last night there was a flip of between three and five seats,” said Queens Sen. Mike Gianaris, chair of the Democratic Senate Campign Committee. “The voters of this state have spoken loudly and strongly that they want to see a Democratic majority in the state Senate. They want to see a minimum wage hike, sensible gun laws and campaign finance reform. These are all things the governor supports, the Democrats in the Assembly support — and only Republicans have stood in the way. We’re looking forward to rolling up our sleeves to enact them.”