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With the State Senate vote currently deadlocked at a 31−31 tie, Republicans are looking for any weak links in the Democratic chain to switch sides and help them grab the keys to the kingdom.
Yet freshman Brooklyn Heights State Senator Daniel Squadron is standing firm, despite his steep connections with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is the Republicans’ go−to guy in a new guerilla mission in the all−out war over control of the State Senate.
According to published reports, Republicans in the State Senate are turning to Mayor Bloomberg in the hopes that he could flip a Democratic Senator.
“All he has to do is make a phone call,” a high−ranking GOP senator told the Daily News. “You think a couple of city Democrats wouldn’t respond if he calls and says, ‘Get into the chamber?’”
A spokesman from the Mayor’s office said that Bloomberg had made it clear to both sides that “he’s not getting involved in their coalition−building.”
But that doesn’t mean that a phone call or two hadn’t been made, political insiders fear.
Squadron would be a likely candidate for conversion because of his close ties to Bloomberg, who helped him with his campaign to unseat longtime State Senator Martin Connor.
Questions were further raised when Squadron signed onto the Assembly bill granting mayoral control of the city school system.
Sources from Squadron’s office said no one has approached him about bending toward the Republican agenda.
“Senator Squadron has not been approached by anyone about leaving the Democratic party, probably because everyone knows he would never consider it,” said John Raskin, the Senator’s chief of staff.
Canarsie State Senator and new Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson said that neither Squadron nor any other Democrats are going to switch sides.
“Our Democratic caucus is solid,” he said. “We are 31 members who are united and we are united as a family.”
“We’re going to set the agenda,” he said. “Not just for the short term but the long term as well.”
When asked about Bloomberg’s possible intervention, Sampson said that Bloomberg would be better off trying to get Republicans to side with a “true coalition” −− the Democrats.
“A true coalition doesn’t exist when you have a group of Republicans and one Democrat,” he said, referring to the political ingredients that sparked the June 8 coup.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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