Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Kruger's King Making

In yesterday's Daily Politics blog, Liz B revisited the Kruger/Skelos contretemps; and the Senator Kruger denied some of the comments attributed to him by the Post's Fred Dicker( who never called him for verification): "Saying he doesn't want to make the battle for control of the Senate about "personalities," Gang of Three mastermind Carl Kruger declined to confirm today's report that he has refused to back Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, but insisted he never said anything about putting his "balls on the table" during a private meeting with the Long Island Republican. "I would never use that kind of language," Kruger said. "There was a meeting; it's not a big military secret. There's ongoing dialogue and ongoing conversation."

Kruger's emphasis is on changing the entire way the senate does business-something that he, Governor Paterson, Malcolm Smith, and Dean Skelos apparently have in common. As the senator told Liz: "This is a very, very complex thing that we're attempting to do," he said. "It may be the first time this is ever accomplished in this country. In order to build a building, first you have to build a foundation. Over the course of the next week or two, we're going to come up with a model and that's going to be sort of a launching pad for whatever comes or doesn't come."

But, as the intrepid Ms. Benjamin points out, a template without a leader is an empty vehicle: "While it is all well and good to have ideological discussions about how to run the Senate chamber in a more bipartisan fashion, sooner or later all parties need to get down to the brass tacks of answering the question: Who's going to be leader?"

What Kruger believes is that the economic crisis facing the state means that it's time to put partisanship aside for the greater good of all: "Kruger said he hopes that, in time, some of his fellow senators will see the error of their partisan ways and join him in his state of political transcendence, explaining: "That would strengthen our ability to conduct bipartisan government."

But there's still the intriguing question left unanswered: Who's gonna lead the body? We'll guess that this will begin to sort itself out in the next few weeks. But the Padavan mystery is about to be solved, with our sources saying that the senator is leading Jim Genarro by 580 votes-with only 252 challenged ballots in the box; which makes the NY Times story this morning all the more perplexing.

Why the incessant carping about the recount, mirroring the complaints of the partisans, when the numbers simply don't add up? First it was anti-Hispanic, now its harassing the rights of students. It's time to fold up this tent, and move on to the more pressing senate leadership issue.