Andrew Cuomo Gives Subtle Boost to Possible Jeff Klein Challenge

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Photo: Governor's Office/Flickr)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Photo: Governor’s Office/Flickr)

Just call him AG.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today pumped up Oliver Koppell’s potential challenge of State Senator Jeff Klein, the co-majority leader of the State Senate.

Asked by a reporter for his thoughts about “Assemblyman Koppell’s” potential bid–Mr. Koppell is a former Bronx assemblyman, councilman and one-time attorney general–Mr. Cuomo referred to the ex-lawmaker by his highest title, attorney general, and said Mr. Koppell was heeding “good advice” by waiting until April to decide whether to pull the trigger. Continue reading “Andrew Cuomo Gives Subtle Boost to Possible Jeff Klein Challenge”

Koppell Waiting for Budget Before Deciding on Klein Challenge

Oliver Koppell. (Photo: Facebook)
Oliver Koppell. (Photo: Facebook)

In one of the most high-profile potential primary contests this year, ex-Councilman Oliver Koppell is waiting until the budget season is over before making a final decision on whether he’ll challenge State Senator Jeff Klein. Continue reading “Koppell Waiting for Budget Before Deciding on Klein Challenge”

Democrats Already Mulling Tony Avella Challenge

Tony Avella. (Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty)
Tony Avella. (Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

The battle for the State Senate may be shifting to eastern Queens.

Queens State Senator Tony Avella enraged Senate Democrats today by joining the Independent Democratic Conference, a coalition of breakaway Democrats who govern the Senate with the GOP, and hurting the Democratic conference’s chances of taking over the chamber in November. Continue reading “Democrats Already Mulling Tony Avella Challenge”

Cuomo on Avella’s IDC Move: ‘We’re Headed Into the Political Silly Season’

Tony Avella. (Photo: Facebook)
Tony Avella. (Photo: Facebook)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today dismissed questions about State Senator Tony Avella’s decision to join the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway faction of Democratic lawmakers who control the chamber with Senate Republicans, describing the move as part of the coming “political silly season.”

“You know, the politics and turmoil of Albany, right?” remarked the governor, speaking to reporters after announcing a new deal to film a Marvel comic series in the state. “I just heard about it today. I don’t know what it means, if anything.” Continue reading “Cuomo on Avella’s IDC Move: ‘We’re Headed Into the Political Silly Season’”

Breakaway Democrats Trying to Unseat Toby Stavisky

Toby Stavisky. (Photo: NYS Senate)
Toby Stavisky. (Photo: NYS Senate)

The breakaway Democratic caucus in the State Senate is trying to recruit a candidate to unseat Senator Toby Stavisky, a Democrat from Queens, as they seek to strengthen their control of the chamber.

A source with direct knowledge of the Independent Democratic Conference’s plans freely admitted the efforts to Politicker this afternoon. Continue reading “Breakaway Democrats Trying to Unseat Toby Stavisky”

Malcolm Smith Stripped of Committee, Leadership Perks After Arrest

State Sen. Malcolm Smith's office. (Photo: Bill Hammond)
State Sen. Malcolm Smith’s office. (Photo: Bill Hammond)

That was fast.

Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeffrey Klein effectively booted Senator Malcolm Smith from his breakaway Democratic caucus this afternoon, stripping him of his leadership position and all committee assignments in the wake of charges that he took part in an alleged bribery scheme.

Continue reading “Malcolm Smith Stripped of Committee, Leadership Perks After Arrest”

Democrats Ponder Primary Challenges to Rogue Senators

Malcolm Smith (Photo: Getty)
Malcolm Smith (Photo: Getty)

Hell hath no fury like a county organization scorned.

Multiple Democratic insiders confirmed to Politicker that Queens State Senator Malcolm Smith, the fifth member of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, could face a primary challenger in 2014. Mr. Smith, it should be noted, has flirted with running for mayor as a Republican and is not going out of his way to strengthen his Democratic bonafides.

“It’s clear that Malcolm Smith is on his last term in the Senate,” said one source. “Caucusing with Republicans is not a viable tactic.”

Continue reading “Democrats Ponder Primary Challenges to Rogue Senators”