Sen. Liz Krueger had some interesting words for the four members of the Senate’s breakaway Democratic caucus, saying she’s confident they will return to the larger Democratic caucus if they are able to pick up the majority in 2012.
Speaking to WAMC’s Alan Chartock in an interview that will air this weekend, the Manhattan Democrat said she has “a bone to pick or two with the four break-off Democrats” that formed the Independent Democratic Conference: Sens. Jeff Klein of the Bronx and Westchester, David Carlucci of Clarkstown, Diane Savino of Staten Island, and David Valesky of Oneida.
But personal animosity aside, Krueger said she believes the Democratic conference will one day be whole again.
“At the same time, they (the IDC members) still declare themselves to be Democrats running on the Democratic line with Democratic principles, so I believe that if the Democrats are successful in picking up the seats to take the majority, we will come back together,” Krueger said. “There will be some uncomfort. There will be some personal animosity between any number of legislators. Find me a legislative house in the country that doesn’t have that.”
The relationship between Senate Democrats and the Independent Democratic Conference have been icy, to put it politely. Sen. Thomas Libous, a Binghamton Republican handling the GOP’s bid to maintain its ultra-slim majority in 2012, said last month that the GOP likely won’t challenge the four breakaway Dems.
Chartock asked Krueger about the possibility of the IDC aligning with Republicans if next year’s elections resulted in a split or a slight Democratic majority, which is when Krueger dropped the “coup” word.
“I think that’s a completely legitimate concern,” Krueger said. “It’s a variation on the coup we saw two years ago. I am hopeful that the remaining people in the Senate outside and inside the IDC and the Democratic conference understand how horrendous that would be for democratic principles in the state.”
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Klein and the IDC, said the conference is focused on maintaining the state’s positive momentum.
“If you look at what happened in Washington in the last year and Albany the last year, the IDC’s message of progress over partisanship is what the people want,” Azzopardi said. “I hope that our colleagues in government join us in that message next session. There will be plenty of time to talk about the next election.”
The full Krueger interview will run on WAMC tomorrow at 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.