A Rockland County Times EXCLUSIVE —
See letter from executive committee at bottom of article
BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Since becoming a state senator, David Carlucci has made some surprising moves in Albany. In a business in which “you gotta serve somebody,” Carlucci has chosen New York City Senator Jeff Klein as his boss. Klein is the controversial Democrat who leads the Independent Democratic Conference, which shares power with Republicans, instead of caucusing with the Democrats.
Carlucci’s alignment with Klein surprised and upset many Rockland County Democrats who campaigned for him in 2010. In 2012, however, the Democratic Party stood a chance to control the Senate, while in 2010, the GOP was still in charge. That’s why top Dems were thrown into a furor when Klein’s IDC again made a power-sharing arrangement with the Republicans, instead of allowing the Democrats to be the majority party. Carlucci again tagged along with Klein and the IDC.
Rockland County Executive Committee member and Clarkstown Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner played it cool in an interview with the Rockland County Times. She said, “It will be interesting to see how it works this year, with new coaltion set up, and how productive the IDC members will be. Hopefully it will mean support for projects we’re doing in Clarkstown and around Rockland County.”
But asked if she could ever see herself making the same move as Carlucci, Hausner said, “I’m as you know, a very strong Democrat and I don’t see myself doing that — if it were me I’d support a Democratic majority, the voters of New York voted for a Democratic majority.”
Not all Democrats feel betrayed by Carlucci. Chris Smith, candidate for Orangetown tax receiver, said he appreciates David’s support and has no problem with the tract he’s taken in Albany.
Said Smith, “My opinion is much different than the Democratic Committee’s opinion. David has done a great job and my campaign is about people not politics. No matter what party David is in, if he’s doing the right thing for the people, he should be commended for that. There are certain issues which he’s done well for the people of Rockland County. He’s worked closely with the governor. I think he’s done a great job and the people think he’s done a great job. He got 72 percent of the vote.”
Carlucci told the Rockland County Times, “The politics I try to put to the side. Because what I focus on is to get results for the community. I think it shows. I passed more legislation than any other Senate Democrat. That’s what I’m committed to doing and I think I’m successful. You cover this stuff every day, people in Rockland County are suffering and they don’t have time for political games.”
Some in the Democratic Party have warned Carlucci that he will lose the support of labor unions. Carlucci said he had no such fear. “The majority of people want results, period. Any groups, whether it’s organized labor, or parents, they could care less about the political games, they want to know their senator is up there talking to anyone, whether it is GOP or Democrat, to get things done for their community.”
So far it’s worked out for Carlucci, but some think he might be vulnerable to a primary challenge in an upcoming election.
The Rockland County Times has exclusively obtained a copy of a letter sent from the Executive Committee of the Rockland County Democratic Committee to Senator David Carlucci, in which leadership of the party blast the second-term state senator for his defection.
Theodore Collins, executive director of the Rockland Democratic Committee, told the Rockland County Tines, “The letter speaks for itself. The Democratic Party believes that every candidate elected on the Democratic line has an obligation to their constituents to join the Democratic Conference, rather than empower the Republicans.
READ THE FULL TEXT OF LETTER BELOW
December 10, 2012
Senator David Carlucci
95 South Middletown Road
Nanuet, New York 10954
Dear Senator Carlucci,
As the Executive Committee of the Rockland County Democratic Committee we were disappointed to read last week that you and the other members of the IDC would be forming a coalition government with Dean Skelos and the Republican Conference. We felt blindsided upon your election in 2010 when you deserted the Democratic Conference, prior to getting sworn in as Senator. Many of us worked hard for you in 2010 and again in 2012. We gathered petitions, knocked on doors, donated money, hosted house parties, and talked to neighbors and friends. We assuaged people’s fears that you weren’t up to the task or ready for the job. We were there when you needed us, and now you have again turned your backs on us.
Last week, even before all of the races have been decided, you made this decision to side with the Republican caucus. If Cecilia Tkaczyk wins, and we hope she does, there will be more Senators will Ds next to their names than Rs; you have shown us that the D next to your name means nothing (emphasis added). You won’t even give your fellow Senate Democrats a chance; the same Senate Democrats that sent resources and money to get you elected. We believe in loyalty and we believe in the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party. We believe in equality for all, a fair chance, worker’s rights, and the support of government. As suburban Democrats we might disagree on some issues with our NYC neighbors, of course, but we have the same values. These key Democratic priorities include raising the minimum wage, electoral reform, and the women’s reproductive health act; which are now subject to bargaining with the Republicans. What will Democrats have to give up for these priorities to go through, what watered down version will we see? Many people do not just vote for individuals, they vote for someone of a particular party because they believe in what that party stands for.
You say that the Democratic Conference could not govern from 2009-2011 and deserved to lose their majority. The leaders of that conference and the Democratic Senate Campaigns were your IDC colleagues—Jeff Klein and Malcolm Smith. So they fail at leadership for the Democratic Conference, leave the Conference, and then blame the conference. Prior to the Democrats taking control in 2009, we suffered through years of Republican leader Joe Bruno’s dysfunctional and, it turns out, corrupt leadership.
We love Rockland County and we know you do too. We are a special place. Our politics may be different than some of our neighbors. This is why we were tremendously disappointed that you voted for a redistricting plan that divided us. Yet, the Rockland Democratic Party still backed you, assuming that you returned the loyalty.
In a letter you sent to supporters, you wrote, “I am a New Yorker first and I am beholden to no one but the people of my district.” Well, we are the people of your district and we are very disappointed. We cannot guarantee you our support in the future if you continue to buck the Democratic Party. We will not be used as a tool for your personal political gain. It has come to our attention that you would like to meet with us. While we welcome your attendance at our next meeting, we feel you should have met with us before you made this decision and not after.
The Executive Committee
Rockland County Democratic Committee