The rift between mainline Democrats and the Independent Democratic Conference appears to have been mended.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Senator Jeff Klein, the leader of the breakaway faction of Democrats that governs the senate with the GOP, said in a joint statement this afternoon that the Democratic conference and the IDC would unite in a new power-sharing agreement after the fall elections, sidelining the Republican Party.
“As Democrats, the IDC remains committed to the fight for an equal education for all New York students – which the Dream Act would provide, protecting a woman’s right to choose, increasing workers’ wages, and enacting meaningful campaign finance reform. I agree with Governor Cuomo that these are progressive priorities we must pass,” Mr. Klein said in a statement.
“Therefore all IDC members are united and agree to work together to form a new majority coalition between the Independent Democratic Conference and the Senate Democratic Conference after the November elections in order to deliver the results that working families across this state still need and deserve,” he added.
Mr. Klein and Mr. Cuomo, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio and labor leaders, have met behind closed doors in the past few days to discuss the possibility of reconciliation. Mr. de Blasio helped broker a deal to deliver the Working Families Party line to Mr. Cuomo last month and in turn Mr. Cuomo promised the left-leaning party–and Mr. de Blasio, a liberal Democrat–that he would work to put the Democrats in the majority.
Left-leaning Democrats have bemoaned the IDC-GOP power sharing agreement because it kept the Republican Party in the majority and stifled some liberal legislation. Democratic primary challenges were launched against IDC members this year in retaliation; it’s not immediately clear if these challenges, including ex-Comptroller John Liu’s bid against State Senator Tony Avella and ex-Councilman Oliver Koppell’s challenge to Mr. Klein, will continue.