An Amigo Raises, With Help From the Leaders

diaz funds An Amigo Raises, With Help From the LeadersALBANY—This fund-raising invitation State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. just sent over illustrates something about the power structure of the State Senate, showing how the chamber's current Democratic leader(s?) have been in lock-step with the so-called four amigos since the end of a month-long stalemate.

Diaz Sr. lists his son–the newly elected Bronx borough president–at the top of his invitation, but then lists (in order) John Sampson, Malcolm Smith, Pedro Espada Jr. and Carl Kruger as the other headliners.

Diaz Sr. aligned with Kruger, Espada and Hiram Monserrate nearly a year ago to form the "four amigos" bloc that frustrated Smith's rise to the leadership, and his governance of the chamber. The ongoing tension between the amigo faction and Smith prompted Monserrate and Espada to flip to the Republican conference, before eventually returning to increased money and power.

The top dollar for Diaz Sr.'s fund-raiser is $2,500.

Article continues below
More from Politics
(FILES): These two file photos show then Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (L) speaking to reporters about the minimum wage for federal contractors at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feburary 12, 2014; and Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (R) during a press conference about Islamophobia at the National Press Club on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.


US Democrats, licking their wounds from last year's election debacle, will pick a new leader on February 25, 2017 to take the fight to President Donald Trump and his Republicans. The race to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) features front-runners Tom Perez, a Hispanic-American and former secretary of labor under Barack Obama who is the establishment pick, and Keith Ellison, a black Muslim congressman from the party's progressive wing who has left open the prospect of pushing to impeach Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN AND Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanders 2020 Just Became Much More Likely With Tom Perez as DNC Chair