2014: New York State Senate

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2014: New York State Senate


Post by Addie »

[link]Crain's New York,http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20 ... -their-own[/link]

Dems' target is one of their own - Jeff Klein

One man may stand between the state Senate's Democratic minority and an entirely blue state government: Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein (pictured), whose four-member Independent Democratic Conference runs the chamber with 29 Senate Republicans and Sen. Simcha Felder, D-Brooklyn.

If Mr. Klein were to lose his re-election bid this year, some believe his breakaway conference would fold in with other Democrats, giving the party control of the 63-person chamber. Although ousting the powerful Mr. Klein would be difficult, the possible candidacy of Oliver Koppell, a former state attorney general, assemblyman and city councilman, is generating buzz.

In the past 50 years, Democrats have run the state Senate for just two—a tumultuous period in 2009 and 2010. But during that brief window, progressives passed legislation that the GOP, at the behest of business interests, had bottled up for years. Plagued by scandals and dysfunction, Democrats lost power in the 2010 elections, and if the 2012 power-sharing deal between Senate Republicans and the five dissident Democrats holds up, it will be difficult for Democrats to pick up enough seats to reclaim the chamber anytime soon.

That's why Queens state Sen. Michael Gianaris, who heads the Senate Democrats' campaign arm, met last fall with Mr. Koppell about taking on Mr. Klein. Progressives can't get their bills through the legislative bottleneck created by the Senate's bipartisan leadership structure. And national liberal outlets such as the Daily Kos website have been saber-rattling against Mr. Klein. ...

Despite the obstacles, Mr. Koppell would be a formidable challenger. Mr. Klein's district was reshaped in 2012 to include Mr. Koppell's longtime base—the affluent, voter-rich Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale. Mr. Klein is strong, however, in the white ethnic areas composing the majority of the district.
Democracy is a garden that has to be tended. -Barack Obama

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