New York Democrats Play Well, Apart

When all the moving boxes are emptied on the ninth and 10th floors of 461 Park Avenue South, about 20 staffers affiliated with Governor Eliot Spitzer’s re-election campaign and the state Democratic Party will find themselves under the same roof.

Potential subtenants for each of them include the New York State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, the New York County Democratic Committee and, possibly, a local office of the Democratic National Committee, according to a Spitzer campaign aide.

The only major arm of the state’s Democratic machine missing from this new super-headquarters will be the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee.

Somehow, this is fitting.

As he promised he would during his campaign, the Governor has picked fights with the entrenched Democratic leadership in the State Assembly on a number of high-profile issues, starting before he even took office with a succession battle over the State Comptroller, and continuing last week with a proposal to link legislative pay raises to new campaign finance restrictions.

And the Assembly has pushed right back, with Speaker Sheldon Silver’s successful defiance on the comptroller issue—he picked an appointee from within the Assembly instead of choosing an outsider, as Mr. Spitzer demanded—setting the tone for what has followed.

Democratic officials say there’s nothing to it.

Dave Pollak, co-chair of the state Democratic Party, said that the consolidation of most of the various entities into a single headquarters had been in the works for a while, and that nobody considered moving the DACC into the new headquarters because the committee’s Albany-based operation has been self-sufficient for years.

An official from the Assembly committee agreed.

“We run a very lean scene, shall we say, here in Albany,” said Assemblyman Ron Canestrari, the chairman of the committee.

In a way, though, the physical separation of the various campaign entities is simply a lagging indicator of facts on the ground.

On the evening of May 7, the campaign committee for the minority Democrats in the Senate held a fund-raiser, which the Governor attended, in the Woolworth Building in Manhattan.

Meanwhile, on the same night, Assembly Democrats held their own event in Saratoga Springs.

“We had this scheduled a long time ago, before that event was scheduled,” Mr. Canestrari explained afterward. “And it happens. I don’t see it as of any importxance.”

New York Democrats Play Well, Apart