State Senator Diane Savino was clear enough today–she thinks the speaker of the City Council is an idiot.
“Let me say this clearly Madame Speaker, you are an idiot! On any given day, I will match my legislative record of real accomplishments against yours!” Ms. Savino, a Staten Island-based Democrat, raged on Facebook today.
Ms. Savino linked an Observer story about Melissa Mark-Viverito knocking her Independent Democratic Conference for not always supporting public housing. Ms. Savino, one of five members of the breakaway conference, is a liberal like Ms. Mark-Viverito but angered progressives when her IDC allied with the Republican Conference to govern the State Senate.
“Let me just say this, I am surprised that the IDC suddenly finds public housing of interest,” Ms. Mark-Viverito, with a strong hint of skepticism in her voice, told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer.
Ms. Mark-Viverito was dismissive of a report released yesterday by the leader of the IDC, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, about the decay of the New York City Housing Authority’s housing stock. Ms. Savino, Mr. Klein’s romantic partner, was not pleased.
“No matter how many sycophants suck up to you, you could never match Jeff Klein’s 20 year record. And his bravery to lead legislators that produce real change for real people!” she added on Facebook.
For good measure, she also tweeted: “How dare the Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito insinuate the #IDC has never made public housing a priority?!?!?!”
By the time Ms. Savino took to Facebook, Ms. Mark-Viverito had sought to downplay her remarks. A Mark-Viverito spokesman, Eric Koch, told the Observer that “NYCHA is a priority for the Speaker and the Council and we look forward to working with the IDC and all stakeholders to ensure NYCHA gets the funding it desperately needs.”
Allies of Mr. Klein argue the IDC gives Democrats a voice at the Senate negotiating table and has won progressive victories for New York City like funding for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s prekindergarten expansion. But Senate Democrats and some progressives say the IDC only empowered the GOP before they won an outright Senate majority last fall and criticize Mr. Klein, despite his record of securing funding for NYCHA developments, for being cozy with landlords and real estate interests.