Klein opponent suspends campaign


Lewis Kaminski is committed to pushing state Sen. Jeffrey Klein out of office, but he now concedes it might not be him doing the pushing.

Kaminski suspended his primary challenge against Klein Monday, saying the tide of support has turned in favor of another primary opponent, Alessandra Biaggi.

“My sincere desire is that this community build something new: A new progressive infrastructure that can hold up candidates that will fight for New Yorkers’ values,” Kaminski said in a statement. 

“That community has indeed come together, and they’ve decided that another candidate will be the one to take on Sen. Klein. And if Alessandra Biaggi is going to be the candidate of the grassroots, I am happy to stand aside in the name of unity, and with an eye toward representation.”

Kaminski entered the race last November after spending much of the year working with various groups, including the steering committee of CD16 Indivisible’s IDC Action Group. That committee has targeted the Independent Democratic Conference, the group of breakaway senate Democrats led by Klein who caucus with Republicans.

Klein agreed late last year to end his partnership with Republicans, and instead join forces with Democrats after the state budget is passed. In return, Democrats said they won’t run candidates against Klein and other IDC members.

Yet, that hasn’t stopped individual Democrats from planning to oust IDC members like Klein on their own.

Biaggi was born in Mount Vernon, and graduated from Pelham Memorial High School. She also earned degrees from New York University and Fordham Law School, working in the governor’s counsel’s office.

“This is probably the most important race in New York in 2018,” Kaminski said. “If progressives across New York stand together, we can run IDC chair Jeff Klein out of his seat, win races against IDC members in Syracuse, Queens, Manhattan and across the state, and elect real Democrats to represent us in state government.

“Because it’s long past time for this IDC scheme to end.”


Cohen earns perfect score from conservationists

Councilman Andrew Cohen is doing everything he can to help save the environment, and the New York League of Conservation Voters wholeheartedly agree.

Cohen was one of just a dozen council members to receive a perfect score in each of the past four years, earning yet another 100 in 2017.

“I have always been a staunch advocate for the environment, and my scores over the past four years reflect that commitment,” Cohen said, in a release. “Moving forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York City, increase the utilization of renewable energies, and support the development of green infrastructure.

“New York City will be a leader on environmental issues regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C.”

The league examines the voting record of sponsorship of key pro-environmental legislation each year, according to a release. 

This year’s scorecard included bills on environmental protection, energy utilization, transportation, and resiliency and recovery.

Other Bronx council members earning perfect scores this year were Fernando Cabrera, James Vacca, Ritchie Torres and Vanessa Gibson.

Ydanis Rodriguez, a Manhattan councilman who also represents Marble Hill, picked up a perfect score as well, and was one of the 12 to earn perfect marks since 2014.

Jeffrey Klein, Lewis Kaminski, Alessandra Biaggi, IDC, Independent Democratic Conference, Andrew Cohen, League of Conservation Voters, Fernando Cabrera, James Vacca, Ritchie Torres, Vanessa Gibson, Michael Hinman