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Another Senate IDC member speaks, sorta

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -– If Mario Cuomo was dubbed Hamlet on the Hudson for his presidential ruminating ways, can we call David Valesky Hamlet of Oneida?

The Democrat from Oneida in Madison County broke his silence today, as the Syracuse Post-Standard reports, about the mystery swirling over him and three other breakaway Senate Democrats. They have been flirting with the idea of joining with the GOP to help keep the Republicans at least partially in control of the Senate come January.

And, the answer from Valesky: What’s the rush for a decision?

Like the Independent Democratic Conference’s leader, Sen. Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, Valesky isn’t saying which side the group is leaning to help take over the running of the Senate.

“We continue to believe, from a philosophical perspective, that, working in a bipartisan fashion, we can get votes on and have votes taken on the floor of the Senate on a wide range of issues that ought to be considered,’’ he said, citing such issues as a hike in the minimum wage and some unknown changes in the state’s campaign finance laws.

Of course, things aren’t necessarily rushing along, as The Buffalo News reported today, and even Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t exhibiting the urgency he did just two years ago when he went so far as to ask the state’s top judge to expedite court cases involving unresolved State Senate contest so there would be no chaos in the upper chamber when lawmakers return to Albany after the 2010 elections.

There are two races still undecided. One is based in Dutchess and Putnam counties where the GOP incumbent, Steve Saland, apparently has zero chance of closing his gap in the paper ballot counting process. The other one, the nail-bitter, is the 46th, between Republican George Amedore and Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk. Amedore leads by just 110 votes after a recent round of paper ballot counting, but 877 contested absentee and affidavit ballots remain subject to a court challenge that begins in earnest in a Montgomery County courtroom Monday morning.

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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