A top aide to Gov. Cuomo says reunifying the fractured state Senate Democrats will be almost impossible as long as Sen. Michael Gianaris remains in a top leadership role for the mainline Dems.
The personal animosity between Gianaris and Bronx Sen. Jeffrey Klein, who heads up a group of eight breakaway Senate Democrats aligned in a leadership coalition with the Republicans, is the single biggest roadblock for Dem control of the chamber, the Cuomo official said.
The aide sought to peg most the problems on Gianaris, who has had his own tensions with the governor, most recently over the mass transit crisis.The Cuomo aide accused Gianaris, of Queens, of trying behind the scenes to torpedo any deal because he’d rather be deputy leader in the minority than lose influence if the Dems are in the majority.
“This is the oldest story in the book — it’s power, who gets it and who loses it,” the aide said. “When Jeff Klein rejoins the Democrats, Mike Gianaris gets displaced, and therefore he is working to further the divide.”
To break the stalemate, the Cuomo official said, the governor has gone “so far as to offer Mike a job in the administration or offer to support him to run for Queens County (district attorney) down the road.”