The Observer ran a thoughtful look at the fate of state Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith that highlights an interesting fact about the Northwest Bronx: Two of the
State Sen. Jeff Klein, who represents some of Riverdale but more of Westchester County, is forever doling out cash to the campaigns of other Democrats, as the article points out. Mr. Klein's spokeswoman, Alexis Grenell, is currently on loan to the campaign of Joe Addabbo Jr., the City Councilman challenging incumbent Republican legislator Serf Maltese this year. Mr. Klein is also Mr. Smith's deputy, and Mr. Gershman hints that he could be gunning for the current minority leader's job — something oft-rumored but just as often denied.
Mr. Klein's colleague Eric Schneiderman represents more of Riverdale, but the lion's share of his district is Upper Manhattan. For years, he's been banging the drum to end vacancy decontrol, tighten gun regulations and take over the state Senate. His district was changed in 2002 to include Washington Heights and Inwood, a move some say was GOP revenge for early involvement in that particular venture.
Mr. Gershman reports that Mr. Smith wants a moderate line on taxes and housing reform — which runs counter to some more liberal positions Mr. Schneiderman has taken. And if you want a good idea of how many voices are clamoring within the Democratic Senate conference, look no further than the recent debate over property taxes: Mr. Klein and Mr. Schneiderman, in the same conference, backed differently nuanced versions of essentially the same property tax reform bill.
Take the current economic crisis and sprinkle it with the apparent dissonance among the leadership in the Democratic Senate conference, Mr. Gershman writes, and Mr. Smith 's quest to become majority leader is a hunt for the worst job in Albany.