November 10, 2014
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
Election Day has passed and for all of us in the New York State Senate, the dust has settled. In one of my earlier columns “Who will be the “Cappo di tutti capi”of the New York State Senate?” I mentioned different scenarios about how Senator Dean Skelos, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, or Senator Jeff Klein could be winners and losers.
I made sure to mention how Senator Dean Skelos could be the Comeback Kid of the Year, and the election results proved me right. Senator Dean Skelos has become the Comeback-Kid and the “Cappo di tutti capi” of the New York State Senate.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, with all of his power of incumbency, along with the millions of dollars he spent in commercials promoting himself, the $30 million dollars he raised, the support of every Democratic official (except for me) and the support of some Republican elected officials and contributors – just barely won the election with 54% of the vote.
Westchester County Executive Mr. Robert Astorino, even after being rejected by some of his own Party leadership and the Governor of New Jersey – and with no money – won 41% of the vote. This has sent a strong message to Governor Andrew Cuomo and to everyone that 41% of New York State voters are against his radical agenda.
Governor Andrew Cuomo should rethink his statement that those people don’t have a place in New York. The election results have proven to me that YES, we have a place. Millions and millions of New York State conservative residents are demanding their place AND to be heard!
The biggest losers in New York’s 2014 Election are Senator Jeff Klein and the Independent Democratic Conference, known as the IDC – and its Members Senators Diane Savino, David Carlucci, David Valesky and Tony Avella.
Earlier this year when people gave up on the New York State Senate Republican Control as political has-been, Dean Skelos needed the support of Jeff Klein. It was then that Jeff Klein and the IDC practically abandoned the Republican Leader, promising to caucus with the Regular Senate Democratic Leadership after the election.
We all can see that between then and now, things did not come out as planned. Senator Dean Skelos and his Senate Republicans have won 32 seats, and they also have Senator Simcha Felder in their Conference, making Senator Jeff Klein and the IDC not so relevant. I don’t think Jeff Klein will get back from the Republicans the same power and decision sharing to stop bills from coming or not coming to the Senate Floor. I don’t think that by abandoning the Republicans when they were down, the IDC and its Members will be given back what they once had. Jeff Klein and the IDC will probably get something, but it will not be the full authority they had before.
On the other hand, some Members of the Regular Democratic Conference don’t want Jeff Klein back. And so, Jeff Klein and the IDC could find themselves in a situation where they will not be trusted by the Republicans nor by the Democrats.
This is why I think the 2014 election results have made Jeff Klein and the IDC the biggest losers, and Rob Astorino the biggest winner.
Rob Astorino is the biggest winner because he has taken the mantra of the Republican Party and used it to become the frontrunner for the Republican Party to become Governor of the State of New York in 4 years.
The other winners will be the DREAM’ers because now Governor Andrew Cuomo has been forced to put the DREAM Act into his Budget and fight for it.