Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein Met Sunday With Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson

Sen. Jeffrey Klein, the Bronx Democrat who heads the Independent Democratic Caucus, met quietly Sunday with Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson, the Daily News has learned.

The New York City meeting was designed to iron out some of the differences Klein and the IDC has had with Sampson and his leadership. But so far it has not led to a decision on which party the IDC will back for Senate leadership come January.

“They cleared the air on some of the personality differences that have cast a shadow over their relationship over the past two years,” Klein spokesman Eric Soufer said. “They also had a productive substantive discussion about the issues of the day and agreed to sit down and talk regularly and to continue to keep the lines of communication open.”

Klein was once Sampson’s deputy majority leader. I have previously reported that an IDC member said the four rogue Dems would not return to the fold if Sampson and Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) were in leadership.

Klein, who in recent days has talked up the possibility of a bipartisan “coalition government,” had previously met with Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos.

The surprise meeting with Sampson came as IDC members have been under increasing pressure from traditional Democratic constituencies to return to the fold.

Klein has said he expects the IDC to become a recognized third conference in the Senate regardless of which party take control of the chamber.

His meeting with Sampson also came as the vote count in a tight Albany area race that could swing control of the Senate winds down this week.   POST

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