What You Should Know: Place Your Bets On Jeff Klein

Senator-Ruben-DiazPlace Your Bets on Jeff Klein

by Rev. Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr.
You should know that with all of the recent news that New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is expected to be arrested this week, there is a lot of speculation about who the next Senate Majority Leader will be.  Here in Albany, bets are being placed and New York State’s Capital has become nothing short of a gaming parlor.  People are talking about and guessing who their favorite candidate is and who they wish would be the next Majority Leader. This is if and when Dean Skelos gets indicted and then resigns as Senate Leader.
You should know that rumor has it that the Democrats have been talking about ways to push Dean Skelos to resign as Senate Majority Leader, following Sheldon Silver’s recent example of stepping down when he was indicted.

Among the candidate names that are floating around to be the next Senate Leader are Senators Tom Libous, Catharine Young, John Flanagan, and John DeFrancisco, among others.

Even though nobody has asked me, and probably nobody cares too much about my opinion, nonetheless, I’d like to put in my two cents.

You should know that if I were Dean Skelos, what I would do to keep my Conference in power would be to name Senator Jeff Klein to be the Leader of the Senate. It is well known that Jeff Klein, the Leader of the Independent Democrat Conference – which is comprised of Senators Diane Savino, David Carlucci, David Valesky and Tony Avella – has been joining forces for years with the Republicans to keep them in power.

I say to choose Jeff Klein, keeping in mind two important things that are expected to happen in the future.  First, it is expected that Dean Skelos, the current Leader of the New York State Senate will be indicted and step down. My second point involves the fact that next year, there will be a Presidential election where Hillary Clinton is expected to be the standard bearer of the Democratic Party and will probably bring out the vote for Democrats in the State of New York. It will be practically impossible for Republicans to keep the majority of seats in the Senate because Hillary Clinton will help Democrats to obtain the vast majority of Senate seats.

The only way – with the scandal of Dean Skelos and the power of Hillary Clinton in play – for the Republicans to keep power is to name Jeff Klein the Leader of the Senate.  This will keep the IDC’s five Democrats supporting the Republicans to control the Senate.  Other than that, I don’t see any other way for Republicans to maintain their control of the Senate.

On the other hand, with the probable indictment of Dean Skelos and the expected election of more Democrats in the Senate – and if Jeff Klein decides to come back to join the Senate’s Regular Democratic Conference, then that would be the end of the Republican control of the State Senate.

Ladies and gentlemen, knowing how ambitious Jeff Klein and his negotiating skills are, I assure you that he will not let this opportunity to put himself in the driver’s seat go by.  Based on that, the odds are 75 percent in favor of him becoming the next Leader of the New York State Senate, Democrat or Republican – it does not matter.

I am State Senator Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

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