A nasty little political war could be shaping up between Senate Democrats and Bronx Senator Jeff Klein’s Independent Democratic Conference.
At stake are seats on both sides and maybe even a divisive battle at a powerful Bronx political club.
Or, it could all be the annual war of words between the two feuding factions.
The way the scenario goes, if it’s real, is that senate Dems are reported planning to fund challengers to Jeff and his three fellow IDC members, while Jeff could turn the tables and topple THEIR leader with a candidate who would then join the IDC.
Jeff’s breakaway crew grabbed power from the majority elected Dem power in the senate by forming a power sharing coalition with Senate Republicans - and actually getting some legislation passed.
Crain’s New York Insider recently reported that term-limited Riverdale City Councilman Oliver Koppell could be weighing a primary challenge against Klein next year, reportedly with the backing of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.
The story quotes a source saying that Koppell has already met with the committee’s chairman, Senator Mike Gianaris – which another source confirmed to us.
Koppell seems to love elected office, even winning as president of the local school board after having served as a state assemblyman and Attorney General.
A battle between Klein and Koppell could rip Riverdale’s Ben Franklin Reform Dems club apart if it came to that.
“It’s the same tired Democratic play,” Klein responded to the reported threats of a primary challenge in his Bronx/lower Westchester district. “Once the election season is upon us, they’re going to run challengers against us. Last time, they went to [former east Bronx assemblyman] Steve Kaufman.
“And then again, the million dollar question is, ‘Where you gonna get the money?’” Klein said. “They have $200,000 in the bank; I have two million.”
Meanwhile, Klein actually could seriously be looking to knock off rival Democratic Conference leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
That game plan, as first reported in The Journal News, could involve popular former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky challenging her for her Westchester seat next year.
As for Brodsky, who gave up his assembly seat running unsuccessfully for Attorney General, a source close to Klein said that he has indeed wooed Brodsky to challenge Stewart-Cousins, especially since Brodsky’s former assembly district sits squarely in her senate district.
Such a move, if successful, could also mean Brodsky jumping aboard Klein’s IDC and leaving the Democratic Conference once again trying to come up with a new leader.
“It would also position Brodsky,” said a source in Klein’s camp, “to run for Nita Lowey’s congressional seat.”
An Albany source on the Democratic Conference side responded to Klein backing a potential Brodsky run by saying, “What, you’re going after the first female Senate leader in the history of the state? There’ll be a lot of fundraising for the Democrats.”
Oh yeah. Former Bronx borough president and soon-to-be-politically-lonely ex-registered Democrat Adolfo Carrion will be on the Independence Party line for mayor.
With hardly a blip on the political radar in this race, maybe he should just stay home on City Island, happy that at least he didn’t burn the island’s bridge behind him.
A.C., we hardly knew ye....
We hear former Morris Park no-show Assemblywoman Naomi (Snooki) Rivera has been spotted recently at local parades and street festivals waving the flag for former Gov. Eliot (Socks) Spitzer, who’s challenging Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for city Controller.
As one of our wiseacre informants put it, “Hey, maybe she needs a job.”
In case anyone has forgotten, the current races for the City Council will have something missing this time.
Newbie winners will only have a second shot at another four-year term this time around. They can say buh-bye to those third terms the council voted for itself and Mayuh Mike, courtesy of Speaker Chris Quinn.
Heading into their final terms - if they win: Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Annabel Palma. Definitely Jimmy Vacca, with no challengers.
If you’re a bit confused about this year’s ballot and the candidates, the city’s Campaign Finance Board has produced a dandy all-purpose NYC Votes Voter Guide that offers comprehensive, non-partisan information to voters who want to learn about candidates and where and how to vote for the Sept. 10 Primary.
It’s available on literally every platform New Yorkers use – print, online, on television and on their mobile phones - but not smoke signals.
Check it out at NYCVOTES.org.
Tix fix case. Former federal prosecutor Ed McDonald, who’s repping the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in that courtesy ticket fixing case, says the next big move will be Thursday, Sept. 12 when oral arguments are presented on his motion to toss out all the electronic surveillance in the case from phone taps on Bronx stationhouses. It produced a ton of tape recordings, which is why the case, which has already ruined a few careers of decent cops, has taken so long. The judge is expected to rule on the motion Oct. 4.
And we’d be curious – if the case even reaches trial, whether Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will have to testify UNDER OATH that he was NEVER aware of a system that existed in the department for decades.
Congrats. To hardworking Detective Tom Aasheim over at Bronx Homicide, making his bones, upped to Second Grade.
Sept. 3 - John DeSio, Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr.’s communications director (and punk rock freak).
Sept. 7 -Assemblyman Mike Benedetto.