NY-State Senate: Bloomberg To Take On State GOP
by tparty, Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:01:42 AM EST
According to today's Times, Mayor Bloomberg (R-NY) is considering trying to actively help break the State GOP's hold on the State Senate by backing the Democratic challenger to a Republican State Senator from Queens:...aides said the mayor was considering backing a bid by Mr. Addabbo only because he was fed up with what he saw as the refusal by Republicans in Albany to send the city its fair share of tax revenues. They said he is becoming increasingly willing to use his newfound political capital to tip the balance of power in Albany to state officeholders more sympathetic to the city's needs -- even if they happen to be Democrats.
As the article notes, this is in many ways reminiscent of then-Mayor Giuliani's backing of Cuomo vs. Pataki in the 1994 gubernatorial race. That move backfired after Pataki won a surprising victory. This move - while in a race for a lower office - is more likely to be successful, as well as potentially much more significant.
His potential foray into the battle for control of the State Senate comes at a precarious time for Mr. Bruno. The senator's 35-to-26 majority could turn into a tie with the loss of just a few seats. And Democrats could fare well in elections with a ticket that could include Attorney General Eliot Spitzer running for governor and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton running for re-election.
"It's a Democratic state in a Democratic year," said Josh Isay, a political consultant who worked for the mayor's campaign last year but is not currently working for him. "If the mayor is going to get involved in this race, it could set off a political earthquake."
There are only three positions that matter in NY state government, the "three men in a room": Governor, State Assembly Speaker, and State Senate Leader. Democrats are almost certain to have two of the three seats after November (Governor and Assembly), and the State Senate is seen by the limping state GOP as the last bulwark against total Democratic control. Their best hope this year is to stop the Dems from taking Joe Bruno's seat as Senate Leader for at least another election cycle.
If Bloomberg - a second term, just-re-elected in a landslide, quasi-Republican mayor with no real further political ambitions and a ton of both political and financial capital - has decided he wants to get involved here, it could spell complete doom for the state GOP. This could be Bloomberg's most lasting political legacy.