Putting the 'Democrat' back in IDC
Jun 30, 2014 | 12282 views | 0 0 comments | 303 303 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The revolution is over! (Sort of.)

That breakaway group of five state senators known as the Independent Democratic Conference announced last week that after the November elections, they would end their power-sharing deal with the Republicans, a decision that ran the State Senate for the past two years by creating a GOP majority, and return to the Democratic flock.

That means the Democrats will once again control the Assembly, State Senate and the Governor's Mansion (when Sandra Lee allows it, of course).

This could have wide-ranging implications on more progressive-minded legislation before the state, such as raising the minimum wage and strengthening abortion rights.

The IDC's head ringmaster, State Senator Jeff Klein of the Bronx, will share the State Senate presidency with Democratic Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins.

While the IDC publicly states that the change of heart is to help push stalled bills important to Democrats through the legislature, is there anything that truly happens in the halls of government that doesn't have some sort of political motivation behind it?

More than likely, the move by the IDC is because some of their members are facing tough primary challenges from a Democratic Party fed up with their political maneuvering. Klein himself is facing a challenge from former councilman Oliver Koppell, and State Senator Tony Avella, another IDC member, is facing a challenge from former comptroller John Liu.

The switch back to working with the Democrats is just as likely about giving potential challengers less ammunition to allege that these state senators are merely Republican operatives dressed up as Democrats.

According to published reports, Koppell was already hedging on whether or not he would continue with his primary challenge.

We say the revolution is over, sort of, because let's not forget the original breakaway Democrat, State Senator Simcha Felder of Brooklyn. Almost immediately after being elected as a Democrat, the fiercely independent former City Council member announced that he would be caucusing with the Republicans, long before the IDC was a glint in any state senator's eye.

One IDC member we spoke with admitting they had no idea what Felder was going to do. Does anybody ever have any idea what Felder is going to do?

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