Staten Island Sen. Savino blasts lawmaker who wants Independent Democratic Conference members tossed from Democratic Party

David J. Valesky

March 18, 2014

By Tom Wrobleski/Staten Island Advance

on March 04, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated March 04, 2014 at 9:08 AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) on Monday pushed back against a Democratic colleague who said that Ms. Savino and the rest of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) should be tossed from the party for working with Republicans.

Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) told the Daily News, "They're not Democrats, no matter what they say.

They should all be disenrolled by the Democratic Party."

Dilan told the paper that the IDC members can't work with the opposing party "on an agenda that goes against what we put forward" and then run for re-election as Democrats.

He said, "Let them run on the Republican line and see if they get reelected."

"It is sad and unfortunate that Sen. Dilan, the handmaiden of Vito Lopez, is attacking fellow Democrats for the sin of trying to accomplish things in Albany," said Ms. Savino. "He has spent close to a decade there, and knows full well what happens when you have partisan gridlock."

Lopez, the former Assemblyman and Brooklyn Democratic chairman, left the Legislature after a sexual harassment scandal.

Said Ms. Savino, "It is equally sad that during the entire time that some of our colleagues were abusing the public trust by stealing, cheating and assaulting people, [Dilan] nary said nary a word. I guess his standards for Democrats are different than mine."

Ms. Savino and four other lawmakers are members of the breaking away IDC, which shares power in the Senate with Republicans.

The IDC scored a coup last week in bringing Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) into their ranks, an unexpected move that angered traditional Democrats.

Dilan said he would go to the county chairs with his disenrollment suggestion.

He can expect a cold shoulder from Staten Island Democratic chair John Gulino, who said he would "absolutely not" disenroll Ms. Savino.

"I wouldn't even give it an ounce of credibility," he said. "I absolutely support Diane."

The other conference members are IDC Leader and Senate Co-President Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), Sen. David Valesky (D-Oneida) and Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester).