Independent Democratic Conference conversation
Democrats rejoiced in November of 2008 when their party won control of the senate chamber.When they were sworn-in on January 1st of 2009, it marked the first time in 43 years that they were referred to as the majority party of the state senate.
It was all downhill from there.
In-fighting and the control for more power by certain individuals led to the infamous coup of 2009, when now-former Senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate crossed party lines and joined the Republicans, essentially shutting down state government for a month. Eventually, both Democrats went back but only after former President Malcolm Smith was demoted and little-known Senator John Sampson from Brooklyn was deemed conference leader.
After losing back the majority in the elections of 2010, Sampson was voted the leader of the Democrats once again and that was enough for four of the members to bolt their party. This time, though, it wasn’t to the other side of the aisle. Diane Savino (Staten Island), Jeff Klein (Bronx/Westchester), David Valesky (Oneida) and David Carlucci (Rockland/Orange) decided to form their own Independent Democratic Conference and one year into their new political lives they join us this week to discuss the move and if the conference will still exist a year from now, after a new round of elections. Watch video here: