Grisanti falls from Grace while Kennedy makes Gains

Cuomo take 40 point lead in Polls

By: Marcos Lebron

ALBANY—Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Democrats and labor unions have agreed to work together to help Democrats take back control of the Senate— that means Senator Mark Grisanti is out and Senator Tim Kennedy is in.

Since Cuomo support of Senate Democrats, top Republicans in the area have announced their retirement by dropping out particularly in districts like Grisanti were Democrats outnumber Republican 3 to1. 

Grisanti appears to have very few friends as he runs for reelection, not even  the republican  party support him, instead they have endorse another candidate.

Polls out this week show that Governor Cuomo is enjoying a 40 point lead among likely voters, an indication that voter across the state support  his efforts. 

Senator Timothy Kennedys appears to be catching wind under his wings with the governor’s support for taking over the senate.

Recent poll numbers show that Kennedy has taken a double digit leader over his challenger Betty Jean Grant and even more impressive, that Kennedy has gain substantial from the African American and Hispanic community.

Cuomo targeted the Independent Democratic Conference's five members in a video speech at the Working Families Party convention last month, saying the five would face primary challenges if they didn't come back to the Democratic conference as part of a unified effort to help the Democrats retake power in the Senate.

He and some of the state’s most powerful labor unions agreed to pump $10 million into the effort to help the Democrats gain control of the Senate. But the groups don't seem to agree on when, exactly, they should begin the campaign to pressure the I.D.C. to come back.

Cuomo told reporters Monday that any "re-unification" between the Democrats and the I.D.C. would likely take place sometime soon after the elections but that it could be sooner.

“We’ll finish the legislative session, we’ll then have an election year this year, and we’ll go through the elections, and then what we’re talking about is next year the reunification, not this year," he said.

Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner, former head of the state Democratic party, endorsed I.D.C. senator Dave Valesky in his re-election campaign, despite reports Senate Democrats are looking for challengers to run against him.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio headlined a fund-raiser for the Senate Democrats on July 2, but the money is expected to go toward Democrats with races against Republicans, not to any I.D.C. primary challengers.

On Monday, Senate Democrat leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she agreed with Cuomo’s timeline, saying he was “talking pragmatically” about the prospects for unifying the conference.

“Part of the bigger picture is that the agreement that they have, the coalition currently has, is effective, I guess, throughout the session,” she said. “So I agree, whatever happens would have to happen next year.”

Late on Monday evening, though, Stewart-Cousins and the Senate Democrats walked back that statement, telling Capital in an email, "We have always made it clear that we want Democrats to be united and the sooner we can do that the better."
Stewart-Cousins may have been responding to pressure from some labor unions including the United Federation of Teachers, Hotel Trades Council, 32BJ SEIU and the Communications Workers of America to make the reunion happen sooner.

Specifically, those groups want a deal reached before July 10, which is the final date for candidates to file petitions to get onto primary ballots to run against I.D.C. members. If the I.D.C. doesn’t rejoin the fold before then, the unions will pump money into the campaign coffers of their primary challengers, labor sources said, arguing the effort to unseat a recalcitrant I.D.C. will stand a greater chance of success if challengers are identified early and their campaigns are organized as soon as possible. 
“It’s fine if the I.D.C. wants to wait five days” the source said. “But if the I.D.C. thinks they can hold off on primary challenges because they’re going to negotiate in January, they’re mistaken.”

I.D.C. leader Jeff Klein said he agrees with Cuomo's 2015 timeline for reunion, calling his comments a "very smart statement."

"We're still in the governing season," Klein said. "Any decisions on politics should be done post-session."
Some unions say they are willing to un-endorse Klein, throwing their support to his challenger, Oliver Koppell, if he doesn’t make a deal with Democrats within the next few weeks.

Klein, who has backing from several powerful unions including the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Teamsters and Mason Tenders, was unfazed by the threat.
“I’ve got a lot of union support,” Klein told Capital on Tuesday. “They supported me based on my record and based on the fact that I did right by their membership on many, many issues. They’re going to stay with me because they supported me to begin with. And if there is a primary, which I expect there will be, I expect a healthy debate on the issues.”

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