Just as Andrew Cuomo was getting ready to take the stage at today's State of the State speech, word came out of more confusion in the State Senate. We aren't in the midst of another coup, but four state senators have decided to leave the Democratic conference. The change won't be as dramatic as last time—the Republicans control ain't going anywhere—but it does give the troubled state party another headache to worry over.
To a degree. “Let me be clear: We are Democrats, but we could no longer in good conscience support the present Democratic leadership,” Jeffrey Klein (ex-D-Bronx) said at a news conference regarding the split earlier this morning. Klein is apparently the leader of the group which also includes Diane Savino, David Valesky and newly-elected senator David Carlucci (we think we'll call them "Jeffrey and the Three D's"). They just really don't like Democratic leader John Sampson.The quartet's new independent conference will still vote with the Democrats in support of Cuomo's agenda—they just won't "caucus with them formally or attend internal Democratic meetings."
Funny enough, in his introduction of Cuomo at today's speech Sheldon Silver spoke on the troubles facing the legislature: "Can we make this place work together? My answer is yes. Do we have the strength, the compassion to see beyond our differences and come together? Plain, unequivocally, yes. We can work together. We will work together." Sure we will!