A Senate Democrat Reaches Back to the Gang of Three

ALBANY—At least one Democratic state senator is still hopeful about reaching a consensus with the wayward Gang of Three, even as a report claims State Senator Malcolm Smith is looking beyond the three to cobble together a 32-vote majority.

Smith announced last week that he was suspending negotiations with the trio after earlier announcing he had brokered a deal. He is now reported to be looking more intently across the aisle.

State Senator Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat, said he counts two of the rogues – State Senator Carl Kruger and State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. – as friends.

"I want them in the party, I want them in the conference, that's my position," Adams told me this morning after leaving an event on reforming the Electoral College. "We need everyone in the room because it's important to have each part of the opinions of the electorate represented. They're still Democrats. Democrats are a group of diverse opinions."

Adams said he has been talking to Kruger and Diaz and will continue to do so. Pedro Espada Jr., the third member of the trio, said publicly that he will not vote for Smith, who he called a "scoundrel and a liar."

Also at the event this morning was State Senator Antoine Thompson, of Buffalo. I asked him for his thoughts on an upstate caucus proposed by State Senator Joe Robach, a Republican.

"It's a little late, don't you think?" Thompson said. I asked him if he believed a regional caucus could become a force across party lines. "In time," he said. "But I think we need to get the Democratic upstate caucus up and running first."

I asked him about support for Smith. "We're one New York," he replied.

A Senate Democrat Reaches Back to the Gang of Three