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Rival Democratic Leaders In NY State Senate Trade Barbs

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

The Democratic leader of New York's state Senate and the head of a breakaway faction of Democrats are criticizing each other over their continuing rift.

Despite earlier promises to work with traditional Democrats, the five-member Independent Democratic Conference is expected to again align itself with Senate Republicans during the legislative session that begins Wednesday.

Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Monday that the Independent Democrats' decision was "disappointing" and would allow Republicans to block Democratic priorities.

In response, Sen. Jeff Klein, leader of the breakaway Democrats, says Stewart-Cousins is "in no position to pass judgment" since Democrats failed to win a Senate majority in the fall elections.

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© 2015 AP

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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