Thursday, November 29, 2012

Coalition State Senate ??

Allies of the Senate Democrats, who are anxious to see a Democrat-controlled upper house in order to more easily pass what they have deemed a “progressive” agenda, are now injecting race into the equation, noting a coalition between the Republicans and Independent Democratic Conference will be dominated by white men.

Assemblyman Karim Camara, chair of the Black, Puerto Rican Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus, told me on CapTon last night that he “commends anyone who wants to work in a bipartisan fashion,” but just can’t get comfortable with the fact that there would be no people of color – not to mention very few women – in positions of significant power if the power-sharing agreement Sen. Jeff Klein is pushing comes to pass.

“When it comes to the potential for the Democrats to decide the majority, potentially to give that majority to the Republicans, that’s what I find very troubling,” Camara told me.“And what I have been hearing and what I have been seeing, even more disturbing than the policy issues , is the lack of diversity in that potential coalition. Perhaps one woman. No people of color. No black. No Latino. So, if you look at it, it looks more like a coalition of Deep South of old than it does the diversity of New York.”
“And the leadership, the committee chairs and the people who decide what bills come to the floor, the allocation of state resources – that should be a diverse coalition.”

To be fair, Klein has since clarified his initial remarks to the New York Times, telling Gannett and NY1 that what he really wants is three co-equal conferences – Democrat, GOP and IDC – and doesn’t see a need to elevate either of the two existing conferences to a position where it would have more power than the others. READ FULL POST

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