What You Should Know
State Senator Ruben Diaz sent out another one of his “What You Should Know” releases this morning with his version of the origin of State Senator Jeff Klein’s breakaway Independent Democratic Conference.
Mr. Diaz described the IDC as having descended from the Senate’s infamous “four amigos,” which consisted of himself, and former State Senators Carl Kruger, Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate. Mr. Diaz is the last remaining amigo after Mr. Kruger was forced to resign from the Senate after pleading guilty to corruption charges, Mr. Espada lost his re-election bid amid his own corruption case and Mr. Monserrate was expelled from the Senate after pleading guilty to slashing his girlfriend. According to Mr. Diaz, Mr. Klein and the IDC have learned from the mistakes of the “four amigos” and “perfected” their ideas.
Wheeling and Dealing
On the eve of the court deadline for the Legislature to present their progress on state legislative redistricting, lawmakers in Albany are set to announce deals on the new boundaries and nearly every other major issue on the table tonight. A member of the Assembly told The Politicker lawmakers are in conference and the precise details of the various deals are still being worked out, but somethnoing will definitely emerge this evening.
“We’re going to be doing something tonight,” said the lawmaker, who didn’t want to have his name published, adding it is expected to be a late night.
A staffer in the Legislature familiar with the machinations behind the dealmaking told The Politicker Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to get a slew of his pet projects passed; a DNA databank, pension reform and a constitutional amendment legalizing casino gambling, in exchange for allowing the Legislature to draw their own redistricting lines.
“The Governor’s holding redistricting over their heads,” the staffer said. “It probably had to do with a few things like DNA or pension reform in exchange for getting redistricting.”
Queens Democratic Senator Mike Gianaris appeared on the Fred Dicker’s radio this morning and was just getting into his pitch against the GOP’s partisan redistricting plan–”They have reminded us once again why Albany has been known as the most dysfunctional capital in the nation. We have been working very hard with Gov. Cuomo to get the reputation of the state government on the right track and it’s things like this, in one fell swoop that bring us right back to the worst of the worst”–when the host interrupted.
Why, Mr. Dicker wanted to know, if the Democrats are so taken by the issue of nonpartisan redistricting, did they not make it the law when they were in the majority in 2009-2010. Don’t deny it, the longtime Post columnist said: if you were in charge, you would be drawing them out of existence too.
62 to 63
State Senator Mike Gianaris, who heads the Senate Democrats electoral efforts, was sharply critical of a plan Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos floated yesterday, saying there’s a “good chance” the total number of New York State Senators will increase from 62 to 63 for the decennial process of redrawing district lines.
Senator Gianaris said that the “desperate” Republican conference was “brazenly violating the constitution.”
“The number of senators is not a matter of discretion,” he argued. “It’s set with a mathematical formula in the constitution, no matter how you interpret that formula, the number this year comes out 62.”
Queens State Senator Mike Gianaris, the head of the campaign arm of the State Senate Democrats, sent out a release this morning touting a record-breaking fundraising haul for this period.
The DSCC raised over $1 million, more than any minority party in the first fundraising period in an off-year, Gianaris said in the statement.