We Need To Expose The IDC | Democrats Betraying Progressive Legislation In New York
Democrats now control the “trifecta” (Both legislative chambers and the Executive Branch) in only six states, with over 1,000 lost seats, and 69 out of 99 state legislations lost just in November, it’s even more disheartening to learn that there are some Democrats teaming up with Republicans under a group called the IDC. Republicans control 25. “All politics is local,” is a mantra more people have learned thoroughly this election cycle than any in most of our (millennials) lifetimes. While fighting the Trump administration should priority number one, the states cannot be left in GOP hands.
With that in mind, it will disturb some progressives to know that the six Trifectas the Democrats control should actually be eight. In New York and Washington State, Republicans maintain control of those states’ senates by caucusing with the so-called “Independent Democrats” and “the Majority Coalition Caucus” respectively. Recently in a shocking vote, the Senate Republicans and Independent Democratic Conference killed a plan to fully fund our schools. An amendment calling for a three-year phase-in of the $4.3 billion in Foundation Aid owed to schools statewide was introduced by Senator Kevin Parker of Brooklyn. But Albany’s partisan politics resulted in a shocking vote. The Senate Republicans as expected voted no, but thanks to the Independent Democrats (Democrats that sit with Republicans), who publically had pledged to support the full Foundation Aid, walked out, refusing to vote. We need to tell the Republicans and the Independent Democrats to stop playing politics with our children’s future. And if your Senator is one of the Democrats who all voted yes then thank them and tell them to keep fighting.
In both cases, these groups formed around 2009-2012 in Washington, the Majority Coalition Caucus’s website looks like a Republican campaign site rather than the bipartisan coalition it claims to be. And really it is, considering that Sen. Tim Sheldon (S-35, D) is the only Democrat in this 25 member “bipartisan majority.” Even worse, they have stalled progressive legislation in an otherwise blue state.
In New York, the Independent Democratic Caucus is even more troubling as they gained a member in the last election to bring their numbers to eight. Along with a Democratic defector and the 31 seats held by the GOP, these faux-Democrats control 40 of the Senate’s 63 seats. Unlike Washington State, where the problem can be laid at the feet of the eccentric Tim Sheldon, the Independent Democratic Caucus represents a systemic problem in New York that Progressives will have to defeat if they want any chance of helping Governor Andrew Cuomo enact a protection of Roe v. Wade.
In Washington state, the problem may simply be geography. Senator Sheldon represents the 35th District which lies mostly in Mason county which voted in Trump 48-42%. It is a rural county with around 60,000 residents who don’t seem to mind Sheldon’s defection to the Republicans while still pretending to be a Democrat. But the problem has lasting effects for any progressive legislation in Washington. Since the State Supreme Court’s ruling in McCleary, which held that the WA legislature was not abiding by the Washington State Constitution for inadequately funding the State’s education system, a daily fine of $100,000 has been levied against the legislature until they comply with the Court’s order. With the State House being controlled by the Democrats, and the State Senate being run by the GOP with the help of Tim Sheldon, education funding has run into a partisan wall.
So far, nothing has broken the stalemate and the fines only accumulate. In New York, the Independent Democratic Conference can be more easily addressed as their membership is largely within the New York City area. It is time for progressives to let these faux-Democrats know, in either Washington or New York, that if you call yourself a Democrat you better fight with the Democrats.
We’ve included the Office phone numbers of these Democrats below. Please only call if these individuals are your representatives.
(NOTE: District stands for their District constituency office and Albany is their office number in the Senate.)
|TONY AVELLA (IDC — 11TH, QUEENS)||
ALBANY #: (518) 455-2210
DISTRICT: (718) 357-3094
|JOSE PERALTA (IDC — 13TH, QUEENS)||ALBANY #: (518) 455-2529
DISTRICT: (718) 205-3881
|JESSE HAMILTON (IDC — 20TH, KINGS)||
ALBANY #: (518) 455-2431
|Diane Savino (IDC — 23rd, Kings, Richmond)||
ALBANY #: (518) 455-2437
DISTRICT: (718) 727-9406
DISTRICT 2: (718) 333-0311
|Marisol Alcantara (idc — 31ST, nEW yORK)||
ALBANY #: (518) 455-2041
DISTRICT: (212) 544-0173
|Jeffery D. Klein (IDC — 34th, Bronx, WESTCHESTER)||
ALBANY #: (518) 455-3595
DISTRICT: (718) 822-2049
|David Carlucci (IDC — 38th, Rockland, Westchester)||
ALBANY #: (518) 455-2991
Rockland: (845) 623-3627
Ossining: (914) 941-2041
|David Valesky (IDC — 53rd, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga)||
ALBANY #: (518) 455-2838
DISTRICT: (315) 478-8745
|tim Sheldon (D — 35TH, Shelton)||(360) 786-7668|