THE ALBANY CORRESPONDENT: Coo, Coup, or KooKoo? By CARLOS GONZALEZ

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GONZALEZ_CarlosALBANY, NY
– A
race in the 46th Senate District race has produced a new winner and it is not a
Republican.

Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk surged to a
19-vote lead over Republican Assemblyman George Amedore and is the unoffical
winner in the race.

Amedore’s
Campaign Released the Following Statement

“I want to thank the constituents that
I’ve had the honor to serve, as well as those who supported me in this
campaign. I am proud of the honest and clean campaign that I and my team, ran
in this extended race. I was supported by the hard-working upstate families who
are faced with tremendous challenges in these trying times. The time for
politics has ended and the time to govern is at hand. As a small businessman
born and raised in upstate New York, I understand the everyday issues. I
believe our representatives need to act on behalf of those who call upstate
their home. As I’ve done throughout my life, I will continue to advocate for
the people’s needs and hope for a brighter future.”

Tkaczyk
Released this Statement Declaring Victory

“It is an incredible privilege to have
been selected by the people of the 46th District to serve as their State
Senator. No one believed our campaign had a chance in a district hand-carved by
Republicans, and yet the power of good ideas and a strong campaign proved
itself. Thanks to all those who volunteered both on the campaign itself as well
as the successful post-election ballot counting process,”

Tkaczyk said, “I am honored to stand
with Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and my fellow
Democratic Senators, in pursuing the common sense, progressive agenda that New
Yorkers demand. I look forward to hitting the ground running to serve my new
constituents because there is no time to waste addressing the many challenges
facing our state.”

Tkaczyk's victory shows that the Senate
has more Democrats than Republicans in the chamber, making the power-sharing
agreement between the IDC and Republicans vital.

If Amedore had won the seat, the
Republican conference (with Felder) would have had 32 members – enough to pass
legislation without Democrats or IDC members.

IDC spokesman Eric Soufer, indicated to
the press that he’s not yet prepared to issue an official statement on the 46th
SD outcome. He said that Tkaczyk’s win will not impact the IDC-GOP coalition –
even though the Democrats would now be able to control the chamber outright if
the 5 IDC members returned to the fold.

Pressure
on Senator Jeff Klein Mounts.

“Now what,” says a top ranking political
insider in the Senate?   “Now that the people have elected a clear
Democratic majority, isn't it time for Senator Klein to drop the GOP-flirt and
develop the same power-sharing approach with Senate Democrats?  Isn't that
what it's all about?”

Sources in the Republican party say that
it's now likely for Klein to have conversations that would reunite the party,
while keeping with the goals of the IDC.

“The win will put more pressure on the IDC,
especially from special interest groups and unions who may have supported Klein
and his team in the past,” said the key Republican operative. “Yesterday, our
agreement with the IDC was for power-sharing. Today, that agreement can
legitimately be perceived as a power-grab.  He'll try to resist change,
but ultimately, the major pressure is coming.”

So can one consider the current IDC-GOP
arrangement a coup?

Though there were still 32 Democrats and
30 Republicans in the Senate on June 8, 2009, Senator's Pedro Espada (D-Bronx)
and Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) were part of what was described by the
Associated Press as a "parliamentary coup" and voted with the 30
Republican members to install Senator Dean Skelos (R-Nassau) as the new
majority leader of the Senate, replacing Senator Malcolm Smith (D-Queens).

Like Senator Jeff Klein's previous
comments pertaining to the IDC creation and recent power-sharing agreement with
the GOP, Espada emphasized that "I remain a staunch, reform Democrat. I
have not switched parties." and that his actions were intended to help end
the "gridlock, paralysis, secretiveness, threats and partisan
politics" that the Senate had experienced in the previous months and that
he was not part of "a power grab or a coup" but was working to build
a coalition to serve the needs of all New Yorkers with open and transparent
government.

On December 14, 2010, Espada and his
son, Pedro G. Espada, were both indicted on six federal counts of embezzlement
and theft. The indictment was by U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch, and also
announced by New York State Attorney General and Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo.
Both Espada's, father and son, surrendered to federal agents on Wednesday, Dec.
15.

On May 14, 2012 a federal jury found
Espada guilty of embezzling money from federally funded healthcare clinics,
after 11 days of deliberation.

So is it coup-like?  That's not for
me to decide. 

Democrats recently elected Yonker's
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins as leader of its conference. Stewart-Cousins is
the first Yonkers legislator to hold such position, a first for being a woman
too.

It's time for Senator Klein and Senator
Stewart-Cousins to talk.

Carlos Gonzalez pens The
Albany Correspondent column. Direct comments and inquiry to
carlgonz1@gmail.com.

 

 

eHeziTHE ALBANY CORRESPONDENT: Coo, Coup, or KooKoo? By CARLOS GONZALEZ

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