WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
Senator Klein is eating all the candies
As you know, back in November, 2012 the Democrats won the majority of Senate seats in New York State, but at the time, there was a serious rift between Senators Jeff Klein and Mike Gianaris.
Senator Jeff Klein had served as the Senate Democrat’s top political strategist heading the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee – until Senator John Sampson threw him into the dust and appointed Senator Mike Gianaris to fill that role. This was a big slap in the face to Senator Klein, and since that time, we have to wonder if that wound has ever healed.
When the 2012 election results gave a victory to the Senate Democrats to become the Senate Majority, we all knew that we needed to bring Senator Jeff Klein and the rest of his Independent Democratic Conference Members - Senator Diane Savino, Senator David Valesky, and Senator David Carlucci - back into the fold.
We all knew that Senators Savino, Valesky and Carlucci would side with Senator Jeff Klein, and whatever he said, they would follow.
I, for one, was advising everyone that we should give Senator Jeff Klein everything he needed or wanted in order to bring him back to our side. However, there were those certain macho men and macho women in our Democratic Conference who decided that they knew better, and as a result, there was no way Jeff Klein could come back and join with the Democrats.
Among those macho men and women were Senators Gustavo Rivera, Liz Kruger and Mike Gianaris.
The most vociferous of them all was Gustavo Rivera. He ever used the "f" word when he referred to Senator Jeff Klein. The big-shots knew and proclaimed how much better off they were without Senators Klein, Savino, Valesky and Carlucci, and how those four Senators would someday have to come crawling back to us.
Ladies and gentlemen, you should know that Jeff Klein gave us ample time and many opportunities to extend an olive branch to him. You should also know that instead, we decided to follow the big-shots of our Democratic Conference and offer nothing at all to bring Jeff Klein back. We decided to follow the macho men and women and instead, we allowed them to solidify the Independent Democratic Conference and its successful alliance with the Republican Conference.
Now, lo and behold, everybody is crying foul.
Little by little, day by day, Senator Jeff Klein and the Members of the Independent Democratic Conference have been gaining ground and have been becoming stronger and stronger. They have reached a point that Senator Diane Savino, a staunch union follower and ardent supporter of women’s rights, has even dared to challenge them. She has shown great courage and incredible faithfulness to Senator Jeff Klein and the Independent Democratic Conference.
This is not at all what the macho men and women of the regular Democratic Conference expected … they were sure that when Senators Klein, Savino, Valesky and Carlucci would come under pressure, they would have to bend.
But surprise, surprise: they are not bending. They are eating the candies, and I am afraid they will never come back. I am also afraid that if we ever want to become the Majority, we will all have to join the Independent Democratic Conference!
This week, as we are about to finish our Session for 2013, we are watching the Independent Democratic Conference get hit from the left, from the right, from the center, from above, and from below. They have been picketed, blasted, cursed, threatened, and they have been marked for destruction in the next election.
But they are not bending, not yielding, and not giving up. On the contrary, they are getting stronger and stronger – and stronger.
It is my hope that by the end of this Session, when all of this is said and done, and when Senators Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, David Valesky and David Carlucci finish eating the candies, I hope they will leave some crumbs for us. Like an old saying goes, "Even the little ones feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
This is Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.