Morning Read: 'I Think Karim Camara Probably Regrets That'

Four of the five members of the IDC sit down. (Photo: YNN)

Four of the five members of the IDC sit down. (Photo: YNN)

Clearly the Headline of the Day:
“The reviews are in: Gov. Cuomo’s ‘ugly’ Christmas tree is an ‘eyesore’ and a ‘hot mess.’”

Can anyone slow Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer? He picked up the endorsement of SEIU 32BJ for his comptroller bid and more labor is surely to come. We heard a rumor that the Working Families Party will soon arrive on his doorstep too, and reached for a response, a WFP spokesman said, “We have a process and our leaders haven’t voted yet, but obviously WFP and our allies have a long history with him.”

Fourth-fifths of the Independent Democratic Conference went on Capital Tonight last night to explain further their breakaway caucus’ raison d’etre. Here are a couple highlights:

Senator Jeff Klein on the IDC accepting Senator Malcolm Smith: “I speak to Malcolm all the time. I think he’s a social liberal and a fiscal conservative, [and] fits in very, very well with our positions on a lot of these issues. Had lunch with him over the summer, just sort of catching up on things, talked about how well we did; he was very enamored with a lot of the work we were able to do in a bipartisan fashion. He wanted to talk about it and see what happens when the election comes. We all sat down in a local restaurant in my district a couple weeks ago and we talked about it. On the spot, Malcolm said, ‘I want in.’ And we’re happy to have him.”

Senator Diane Savino on Assemblyman Karim Camara‘s comments about the coalition’s demographics representing that of the Deep South: “I think Karim Camara probably regrets that choice of words, I think it was a little bit over the top.”

Of course, Governor Andrew Cuomo weighed in on the IDC topic himself yesterday:

“Obviously I want what the people of the state want which is a government body that operates — that is conducts itself professionally. We’ve seen the alternative and it was terrible. Does this accomplish that. I don’t know. I don’t know if anybody knows. I don’t know if they know. I get the concept, but I don’t know who it actually works in practice.”

Rev. Al Sharpton doesn’t seem to appreciate the situation, however:

“It is a fact that President Obama won New York by the second largest plurality in the nation after Vermont, and by all accounts it would appear that there will be 33 Democratic Senators and 30 Republican Senators elected to the New York State Senate.

Within the body of the Democratic Senators there are 15 Senators of color, including the current Minority Leader. Throughout the entire history of New York State, it has always held true that the party with the majority of Senators runs New York’s Senate. In this instance, come January 1, 15 Senators of color should hold critical Senate Chairmanships on committees such as housing, criminal justice, the judiciary and education, acting upon policies consistent with President Obama and the lifeblood of Black and Brown New Yorkers.

For 30 Republican and 6 Democratic State Senators to brazenly ignore tradition and history in the State Senate, and effectively deny these legislators of color what is rightfully theirs: the ability to chair committees and pursue policies and initiatives that reflect the will of the people is a perversion of justice. This means that policy and resource discussion on issues such as Stop and Frisk, affordable housing and rebuilding the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy will be led by Senators from Upstate New York rather than those Senators whose communities are most directly impacted by these policies and events.

Moreover, it would be enormously troubling for any leader in this state to allow such a miscarriage of justice and obstruction of the will of the people to go forward.

I am consulting with New York elected leaders interested in ensuring that justice and fairness prevails, and we will kick off a campaign this Saturday towards this end at the House of Justice.”