By Ellen Abbott
State Sen. Dave Valesky, a founding member of the Independent Democratic Conference believes a recent Siena College poll gives credence to the coalition between the IDC and Senate Republicans.
The poll shows that 58 percent of New Yorkers like the way the coalition is running the New York State Senate. The Senate is controlled by minority Republicans and the IDC -- a system created a few sessions back, after a problem-filled term when Democrats controlled the Senate.
"I’m not surprised to see the results and I’m pleased to see the people of the state of New York are recognizing that in their state Senate we’ve got a functioning body again,” said Valesky, of Oneida.
Not everyone is happy with the coalition that gives Democrats, who outnumber Republicans in the Senate, minor party status. And the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party is unhappy with the coalition, saying it makes it harder to move ahead a more progressive agenda.
Valesky says he has had conversations with constituents who are concerned, but says ultimately the coalition works, citing a bipartisan path to fiscally responsible and on time budgets, among other things. And that’s why he discounts recent stories about the possibility of these renegade Democrats jumping back onto the Democratic side of the aisle.
"There’s a lot of talk the way Albany politics works...But what we have focused on is governing in that bipartisan fashion, and when the results are what they have been, it’s difficult to imagine why we would move in another direction at this point in time,” Valesky said.