Control of Senate still undetermined
Governor Cuomo said he is staying out of the fight for control of the state Senate. Nearly one week after Election Day, we still do not know which party will be in the majority next year. The two races that are still too close to call, are part of the problem. But, whoever ends up in charge, things will likely be very different in Albany in January. Zack Fink reports.
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NEW YORK CITY -- In the state Senate, both Republicans and Democrats would likely need a coalition with the breakaway Independent Democratic Caucus, or IDC in order to govern. That's true even though some races haven't been decided. The IDC has four members including their leader Jeff Klein. Sources say at this point, Klein is more likely to side with the Republicans over the Democrats.
"You have some races that aren't decided yet, so literally they are still counting ballots in some races and those races could tip the balance one way or the other. If that doesnt happen then you also have these shifting alliances among the senate. There are different factions if you will," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Democrats Malcolm Smith, and the newly elected Senator-elect Simcha Felder haven't ruled out joining a Republican Majority Government. If that happens, Democrats would be on the sidelines. However, analysts say in that scenario, current Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos would be weakened, potentially giving the Governor more influence over the senate chamber. And with the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal looming over Assembly Democrats, the Governor could even have more reach into that chamber.
"You've got an extraordinarily strong government right now, both operationally in terms of his political capital, but yes he gets even more capital. He's got leverage vis-a-vis Shelly, leverage vis-a-vis Dean," said Doug Muzzio, Baruch College.
Allies of the Governor say he will benefit, no matter what happens.
"The things that people need to remember about the Governor Cuomo is this: he will take the cards that are dealt to him and will get the best results," said Charlie King, NY Democratic Party Executive.
Al Sharpton had called a meeting of Senate Democrats on Saturday in Harlem, but it was cancelled. A spokeswoman for Sharpton said the meeting will be rescheduled, but the details will be kept private. One source said most Democrats were not planning on attending.