NY Democratic Co-Chair Says Power-Sharing Senate Could End Dysfunction

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The co-chair of the state Democratic Party touted a power-sharing agreement in the Senate as a “way out of the dysfunction” that has previously dogged the chamber.

Stephanie Miner, the Syracuse mayor who was hand-picked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help head the state Democrats, said she believes the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference and the Senate Republicans deserve a chance to make their partnership work. The two conferences announced today that they have formed a coalition that will have equal authority over the Senate.

“There is obviously a place for partisanship, but as Democrats we believe the ultimately goal is to have government function for the people,” Miner said in a phone interview. “This is an arrangement in which senators determined they can make government function for the people of our state and I think it’s up to us to give them the opportunity to see if the arrangement can work.”

She continued: “I think there are lots of different ways to accomplish the goals Democrats ran on.”

Miner, who co-chairs the party along with Assemblyman Keith Wright, said her support of a coalition government shouldn’t be seen as a rebuke of the main Senate Democratic conference, which gained seats on Election Day but appears to be headed back to the minority.

“It’s not a rebuke. It’s instead a way of saying this is a way out of dysfunction,” Miner said. “This is a way to move forward. And ultimately as Democrats, that’s what we believe in: making government functions, making sure that it works for the most people and making sure that we have a chance to articulate, defend and move progressive policies forward.”

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  1. Multi-party politics have come back to New York?!?? Finally! Let’s face it, these “big tent” parties only paper over serious and fundamental differences, and gerrymandering does it’s best to remove all uncertainty but… Why can’t we all just accept the reality that more than two parties, more than two points of view, and more than ideologies already exist. And let’s not stop at three!

  2. Miner wouldn’t say zip if Cuomo’s people hadn’t appoved it. Cuomo is supportive of the Klein initiative – it keeps Skelos and the GOP in charge and keeps the Democrats unable to challenge Cuomo farther than he wants to go.

    Skelos, Klein, Cuomo, Smith – they are all guilty of this. It began with the dirty deal on redistricting, and has come to full fruition today with this “alliance” with no organizing principle but power. Malcolm Smith? He burnt the building down, now he’s the firefighter??

    Voters rejected the GOP control of the Senate, but the business interests that funded Klein and Skelos insisted on control of the Senate. They got exactly what they wanted. Exactly what they wanted.