State Senate Minority Leader John Sampson's interview on NY1 last night is worth watching. He lashes out at his former deputy, Jeff Klein, who broke away and founded the Independent Democratic Caucus.
"He said he had called me. Didn't call me once. Didn't pick up the phone and call me so we can deal with these issues," Sampson said in a moderate tone that only grew more animated over the five-minute clip.
Sampson went on to say, "there's nothing wrong with being independent. We have independent people in our caucus." Sampson also noted "the most independent Democrat in our caucus is Senator Ruben Diaz. But he chose not to leave the conference."
Sampson then goes on the attack, suggesting the defectors are less then loyal to the Democratic party.
"The question is, is it about being independent or about the powers and the perks?" asked Sampson. "You're getting an office. You're working with the republicans to get an office. you're working with the Republicans to get allocations. You're working with the Republicans to get chairmanships."
Sampson excused defector Dave Vallesky, since the upstate Democrat told Sampson earlier that he couldn't vote for him as leader, saying it was "an issue" back in his district.
As for freshman David Carlucci, Sampson was not as forgiving. "How can he have any dissatisfaction when he never sat one day with us in the chamber?"
Sampson admits he may have a "fault" in maintaining an open-door policy, because, "at the end of the day, instead of getting any credit, people will just stab you in the back."