Serph's Up

Friendly Democrats forget muscle, fumble state senate again

In fact, Eliot Spitzer was the biggest outside booster of the underfunded Senate Dems, and he will arrive in Albany in January having incurred the wrath of Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. He dispatched a campaign aide to work full-time for Zimet, wrote sizable checks to several campaigns, hosted fundraisers for the senate committee, and made repeated appearances on behalf of senate candidates. Spitzer even used his own consultants to cut television commercials featuring him for Stewart-Cousins and Brooke Ellison, a 28-year-old quadriplegic Harvard grad who mounted a stem-cell-based, losing campaign against an entrenched incumbent on Long Island. Spitzer will also have more leverage over Bruno than the outgoing Pataki, fueled both by the size of his mandate and the real prospect that, should he decide to lead the charge for senate Democrats in 2008, the GOP might lose its last bastion of power.

Schneiderman, who lost to Smith in the fight to succeed Paterson as minority leader, insists that "this was a very good year for us." He refuses to comment on the reluctance of local leaders like Manton and McMahon to join the battle and sees the Democratic strategy as incremental. "Every seat we win," Schneiderman argues, "it's that much easier to win the next seat. We deserve an A." Schneiderman says there are seven or eight Republican seats where Democrats "have an enrollment advantage or close to it," and he expects that in a high-turnout presidential year, they will finally take the majority. But in an interview before the election, one consultant tied to some senate Democrats called it "a treasonable offense," contending that "the lack of preparation for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is the biggest waste I can think of in the last 20 years."

Albert Baldeo proved his point.


Reasearch assistance: Adam Fleming, Keach Hagey, Luke Jerod Kummer, and Damien Weaver

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