State Senator Diane Savino thinks the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) dropped the ball in what should have been an easy lay up of a senate race between Democratic City Councilman Lew Fidler and Republican attorney David Sorobin.
Savino, a former co-chair of the DSCC, made her opinion public in an article posted late yesterday by Times Union political blogger Jimmy Veilkind.
The two major sources of Savino’s scorn? DSCC Chairman Mike Gianaris and Democrat go-to election consultants the Parkside Group – which she did not refer to by name. The Parkside Group had run David Weprin’s unsuccessful Congressional bid against Republican Bob Turner.
While Fidler basically ran his own campaign, the firm was contracted for certain tasks – including some mailings.
From Capitol Confidential:
“I was a co-chair of the DSCC. When people didn’t think we had a prayer in hell, we won seats,” said Savino, D-Staten Island, pointing to special election wins by Democrats Darrel Aubertine and Craig Johnson.
“Of course, they had to get rid of us. They needed a leadership change at the DSCC. So we have new leadership, and look! Lew Fidler should not have lost that race [as of today, the race is still too close to call]. Kings County has more registered Democrats than any county in the country. How the hell do you lose a race like that? Maybe if you hire the same consultants that lost the Bob Turner seat, you wind up with the same result. It’s just mind-boggling to me.”
Savino is a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a renegade group of senators that severed ties with the mainline Democrats early in 2011, just after they lost their majority in the state senate. State Senator Jeff Klein, a fellow IDC member and personal acquaintance of Savino, had been the Chairman of the DSCC before the four broke away.
Gianaris, a freshman Democrat from Queens who served in the state assembly, took over after Klein’s departure.
For his part, Gianaris was none too pleased with the Senator’s critique, and his own statement seemed to affirm the continuing bad blood between Savino, Klein and mainline Democrats. He also raised the issue of a 3 million dollar campaign debt incurred during 2010, which some Senate Democrats blame on Klein.
“I’m not interested in responding to a group of people that were responsible for losing that majority and saddling us with $3 million in debt before they cut and ran,” Gianaris told Capitol Confidential. “While others may snipe from the sidelines, I’m focused on re-establishing a Democratic majority and we will succeed as a unified conference.”
Check out Capitol Confidential for Savino’s response, as well as one from a Parkside Group partner.
State Senator Diane Savino represents District 23, which includes much of the North Shore of Staten Island. In Brooklyn, District 23 includes Coney Island, as well as parts of Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Borough Park and Bensonhurst. Senator Savino also chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families.