After a special election yesterday that sent another Democrat to the New York State Senate, Democrats once again have a technically meaningless 32-31 majority in the chamber, thanks to the Independent Democratic Conference.

Just in time for what's presumably supposed to be summer, the hottest feud in the State Senate is reaching a boiling point following the election of Democrat Brian Benjamin in a special election to fill the seat of Bill Perkins after Perkins joined the City Council. (Perkins's empty seat has meant that the Senate was evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats 31-31.)

Once again, that leaves the Senate's 23 Democrats who aren't in the Independent Democratic Conference or named Simcha Felder in the chamber's minority. (Felder was elected as a Democrat, but caucuses with Republicans and voted for John Flanagan as Senate Majority Leader.) But rather than wait around to get hammered again for being traitors, the IDC went on the offensive this week, challenging every mainline Democratic state senator to sign a letter supporting a number of items on their agenda.

Repeating a refrain that's been seared into every political reporter's brain over the last few months, State Senator Jeff Klein opens a video promoting the conference's ideas with the fact that it takes 32 votes to pass anything in the State Senate and issuing a challenge to "call the roll" and get every member of the mainline Democrats to sign on to supporting a package of progressive bills. This then gives way, like one of those boy band videos where everyone gets a solo, to each member of the IDC going over an agenda item they're promoting.

The IDC campaign is an attempt to pin the blame on Democrats for the stalled progress on bills like one that would update the state's abortion laws, add transgender individuals to a class protected under the state's human rights laws and the DREAM Act. State Senator Ruben Diaz, a conservative Democrat who's planning on leaving the senate to run for the City Council, is vocally anti-abortion and voted down the Gender Expression Non-discrimination Act in a Senate committee. On the other hand, State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, the Republican in charge of the State Senate thanks to the IDC-GOP alliance, refused to let the DREAM Act come to the floor for a vote this year.

In the same week the "call the roll" video and letter were released, however, Klein also appeared at an Albany dinner where he promised that "if I have anything to do with it, John Flanagan is going to be the leader for a long, long time," dinner attendees told the Daily News. Klein was, according to a dinner attendee, angry at Democratic conference leader Andrea Stewart Cousins over her call for a probe into the potentially illegal stipend payments given to members of the IDC.

Which, if that's the case, he'll probably be even angrier today as the Times reports that both state attorney general Eric Schneiderman and the U.S. Attorney from Brooklyn are investigating the payments, and the Times-Union reported that deputy minority leader Michael Giannaris met with the Albany district attorney to just have a casual chat about the investigation. Just a couple of pals, having a super casual chat about shady payments one pal's political enemies were involved with.

And while the IDC is trying to go on the offensive, the famously effective national Democratic organization called on the IDC (and Simcha Felder) to stop their alliance with the Republican Party and rejoin the mainline Democratic conference.

As of press time, a spokesperson for the IDC hadn't commented on the call for unity from the DNC.