Libous: Senate GOP not eyeing IDC seats

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The man leading the Senate Republicans’ campaign efforts says it’s unlikely his conference will put up funds to challenge the four members of the Senate’s breakaway Democratic conference next year.

Sen. Tom Libous, the Binghamton Republican who chairs the state Senate Republican Campaign Committee, said the GOP is eyeing “every Democratic incumbent that is part of (Senate Minority Leader) John Sampson’s caucus” for the 2012 elections.

That, of course, would leave out the four Democrats that split to form the Independent Democratic Conference earlier this year: Sens. Jeff Klein of the Bronx, David Carlucci of Clarkstown, Diane Savino of Staten Island, and David Valesky of Oneida.

When pressed on whether that means the Senate Republicans’ campaign wouldn’t fund challengers in those districts, here’s what Libous had to say:

“We’ll look at it, but if it’s not something that I think is a good investment we’ll go where the better investments are,” he said in a phone interview. “Right now, I think the independence of the IDC is a refreshing change from the previous Democratic caucus, and I don’t see a lot of reason to upset that independence. I kind of like it, and I think the public likes it.”

His comments come after the Daily News reported this week that the four members of the IDC have a “peace pact” with the Senate Republicans, saying that they won’t put up funding to knock them out of their seats.

Libous didn’t confirm any formal agreement, but made clear there wasn’t going to be much, if any, invested in those districts by his conference.

“Why would it make sense for us to invest money in places where people who have been supportive of many of our issues are showing a refreshing independence?” he asked.

Of course, there is a chance that Senate Democrats could choose to primary the four IDC members, as the Daily News also reported. Republicans currently hold a razor-thin 32-30 majority (though that includes the IDC counted with the rest of the Democrats) and the relationship between the two Democratic factions is fractured, at best.

Sen. Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat who heads the state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, said his conference has identified about a dozen Republican-held seats they feel could be vulnerable, depending on how the current redistricting process plays out.

Gianaris said many of those seats are on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, while singling out Sen. Mark Grisanti’s district in Buffalo. Grisanti, a Republican, won last year in his heavily Democratic district when Carl Paladino, a western New York Republican, was at the top of the ticket.

“We know that Senator Grisanti is in a district in Buffalo that is overwhelmingly Democratic and we fully expect that to be back in Democratic hands,” Gianaris said via phone. “There are as many as a dozen other Republican-held seats throughout the state that are competitive for us. Some more so than others, but we are going to have a very large, target-rich environment for Democrats throughout the state next year.”

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6 Comments

  1. Its amazing how dumb Dave Carlucci is. Firstly, of course the Republicans will run against him. He is a first term incumbent in a marginal district. Secondly, Klein is fast becoming Hiram and espada combined. The flippers always lose in the end. Everyone assumes that savino will one day have enough of jeff’s antics and drop him (the fact that she betrayed her ideals for companionship is really sad) but carlucci is just stone cold making a mistake ending his career here.

  2. Any moron would realize that if the republicans actually had a deal or actually intened to not challenge IDC, why in the world would they tell anyone ? Libous is one smart guy. This will kill carlucci’s fundraising, it will cause him to get a primnary, and at the end of the day he will lose. And Jeff Klein will be sitting there with his tan and his sharp two teeth smiling at poor Dave like a sucker.

  3. Jeff Klein will do anything to have a rigged distirct so that the latinos dont take him out. and he will eventually lsoe, or more likely cut a deal for himself and get out of the senate. he did the same exact thing in the assembly. carlucci, valesky and savino are really slow witted.

  4. Carlucci has no idea he is getting played. Its like the way they did that weird video where they talked about him as a “super candidate.” The whole thing is a joke, its like they are making fun off him by complimenting him. Jeff Klein may as well be handing him a bisquit and patting him on the head. pedro espada, hiram monseratte, olga mendez, the list goes ona nd on and on.

  5. Libous is a brilliant strategist. He is somehow going to trick these folks into disarming. What a bunch of jokers.

  6. The Great Carnack on

    Senate Dems: “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” doesn’t do them justice. They’re worse.