Gianaris makes a Cuomo pledge, calls Klein’s ‘bipartisan’ Senate vision ‘a cruel hoax’

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Michael Gianaris, who led Democrats' efforts to reclaim the State Senate, said he would not seek to undo any of the accomplishments made by fellow Democrat, Governor Andrew Cuomo, if Democrats somehow succeeded in gaining control.

In a radio interview this morning, Gianaris said he supported Cuomo's push for a new, less generous pension package for future public employees and agreed with the governor on the need for a deal on evaluating public school teachers.

"I don't have any qualms with the governor's achievements," Gianaris told New York Post state editor Fred Dicker. "I think he's had a great first couple of years in office and that's why I'm so anxious to get to the majority so we can keep working together."

Gianaris was arguing, as he has since before the November general elections, that the only way to pass Cuomo's progressive agenda was to put Democrats in control of the state senate, a prospect that received a near-fatal blow when Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference told the New York Times he would align with Republicans to form a "coalition" government in the upper chamber.

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Klein and his spokesman referred to the union of at least 30 Republican state senators and as many as five breakaway Democrats as "bipartisan."

Gianaris, in his interview, disagreed strongly with that notion, saying the Republicans were not likely to pass major pieces of legislation that a Democratic majority would advance, like reproductive rights and campaign finance reform.

"Those are very important issues," Gianaris said, adding that a majority-Republican coalition "would simply result in a cruel hoax on the people of this state who voted for progress this year and voted for Democrats."