What You Should Know
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District
Senator Dean Skelos, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, or Senator Jeff Klein: Who will be the “Cappo di tutti capi” of the New York State Senate?
You should know that the windows are open and the bookies are taking bets for the political horse race to see which of the three State Senators – Dean Skelos, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, or Jeff Klein – will cross the finish line first and claim the prize as the “Cappo di tutti capi” of the New York State Senate.
As you should already know, this political horse race will be decided in just a few days: on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 9PM, after all polling places in New York State close.
You should know that bets are flying, and people are placing their bets for one of the three, but not even the odds-makers have a notion about who to call as the favorite. (And unlike actual horseracing where there is a “Win, Place and Show” – this race is a “Winner-Takes-All.”)
Those placing their bets on Dean Skelos are already calling him the “Comeback Kid” because as you know, a few months ago they were counting on him out as a dead horse. Some thought that the union of the Senate Regular Democratic Conference and Senator Klein – and the Members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) – was a sure thing, to the point that there were some Senators who were already calling themselves as Chairman of this or that Committee.
You should know that the latest developments of the projected victories of some Senate districts have turned things around, creating a state of pandemonium and causing some people to run for cover. Some pundits are now giving Senator Skelos a big chance to come back, so big that he might not even need Senator Klein and the IDC.
Those placing their bets on Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins are being very cautious, claiming that she has an opportunity to become the first woman to be the “Cappo di tutti capi” in the State Senate.
You should know that Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins has been playing the most intelligent campaign of all. She has allowed Senator Mike Gianaris to be her point man – and with the support of all of the unions, and New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio, and the troops of the Working Families Party, and ALL of the Democratic Party resources – she is expecting that Senator Gianaris will get her across the finish line first.
But you should also know that with all of her political posturing, Senator Stewart-Cousins will be a winner regardless of the outcome of the race. If the Democrats win, she will claim the trophy and will have shown a great sense of leadership by effectively delegating duties, and by being a team player. On the other hand, if the Democrats lose, she will be able to place the blame on Senator Gianaris’ inability to use all of the available support and resources to make the Democrats take control of the Senate.
And finally, those placing their bets on Jeff Klein are doing so based on the assumption that the all-powerful Senator from the Bronx and the IDC will be winners no matter what happens. They don’t believe that Senator Skelos and the Republicans will be able to get 32 (or more) Senators elected this year, and Senator Skelos will remain dependent on Senator Klein. The second reason is that since Senator Stewart-Cousins and the Senate Democrats are in the same situation as the Republicans and need Senator Klein, the IDC will still be able to claim the trophy.
The third reason – and the most intriguing of why some people are placing their bets on Senator Klein – is that if Democrats get the 32 votes needed at the General Election on November 4th, they will have to go into an internal election to elect their leader. Any one of the Senators – including Jeff Klein and Andrea Stewart-Cousins – will need 17 Senators to vote for them. Some believe that Senator Jeff Klein already has 5 votes, so he will just need 12 more and he could become the one and only “Cappo di tutti capi” of the New York State Senate.
Ladies and gentlemen, I caution you that these possibilities are just being rumored around. And because in politics, you never know who your friends are, my advice to these three Senators is as follows: they should trust no one; they should not believe anything they are promised; and they should keep their eyes wide open.
This is Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.