Skip to main content

New York State Sen. Jeff Klein speaking to TV reporter
Jeff Klein, Republican in sheeps clothing.
Goal ThermometerAs we've seen, New York "Democrat" state Sen. Jeff Klein has no problem running on the GOP line in his elections, a practice allowed under his state's "fusion" voting system. Part of the reason is that he's actually pretty much a Republican, not just on the issues, but going so far as to keep the GOP in power when voters elected a Democratic majority to the state senate.

But just how Republican does he really vote? Here is a chart by xenocrypt of how often state senators vote with the Republican Senate majority leader Dean Skelos (full-sized interactive chart here). That is Skelos on the upper-left-hand corner. The further right a legislator is located, the less often she or he votes with the Republican leader.

Chart showing Jeff Klein more loyal to GOP leadership in NY State Senate than most Republicans.
Scorecard showing Jeff Klein scoring the same on environmental issues as the Republican legislative leadership
See all that red to the right of the "Jeff Klein" arrow? Those are all Republicans that are less loyal to the GOP leadership than him. In fact, there are literally just two Republicans more in tune with the GOP leader. Or if you prefer numbers, Klein votes with the GOP leadership 97.36 percent of the time.

Want more evidence? EPL/Environmental Advocates, an environmental group in New York, has scored state legislators on their votes. Look at the chart to the right -- wouldn't you know it, while the actual Democrats were pretty solid on environmental issues, Jeff Klein was in the same pit of suck as the top Republicans in the state senate and assembly.

This is a heavily Democratic district. That is why Jeff Klein won't proudly wear his true colors and run as a full-fledged Republican. Thus, he ends up pretending to be something that he is not.

Lucky for us, there's something we can do about this. Give $3 to real Democrat primary challenger Ollie Koppell.

Because yes, it's making a difference:

The website, which championed Mr. Koppell’s candidacy during the months before he officially declared, showed 2,289 people giving him $38,673 as of Wednesday around 1 p.m. — just over a week after Mr. Koppell kicked off his campaign.

“That’s absolutely incredible,” Mr. Koppell said in a phone interview. “I think I have more [contributors] now in this campaign in one week than I’ve gotten in my whole career.”

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by New York City.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  "sheep's clothing" (7+ / 0-)

    Gotta take a bit of exception to the caption, there - "Republican in sheep's clothing."   Republicans are the sheep, not us.  ;)

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:08:32 AM PDT

  •  NO DINOs! (9+ / 0-)

    Bad Dino

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:09:47 AM PDT

  •  Dumb question, but can the Democratic Party kick (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Mannie, GreatLakeSailor

    him out?

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:12:24 AM PDT

  •  Klein can't be any worse than the FCC Democrats! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hyperstation, Mannie, GreatLakeSailor
    FCC approves plan to allow for paid priority on Internet

    >>The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor of advancing a proposal that could dramatically reshape the way consumers experience the Internet, opening the possibility of Internet service providers charging Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content to American consumers.

    ....The proposal is not a final rule, but the three-to-two vote on Thursday is a significant step forward on a controversial idea that has invited fierce opposition from consumer advocates, Silicon Valley heavyweights, and Democratic lawmakers.
    ....Even one of the Democratic commissioners who voted yes on Thursday expressed some misgivings about how the proposal had been handled.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:22:33 AM PDT

  •  Klein is the worst kind of (8+ / 0-)

    pretend Democrat...not only does he pretend to be an actual "Democrat," but he is constantly proclaiming himself to be a "progressive" Democrat. Even the worst DINO's in Congress don't deliberately try to falsify themselves by calling themselves "progressives" when they clearly are not.

    Hopefully, Klein's Democratic primary opponent can oust him from the Democratic line so we can get a real Democrat in that seat.

  •  Klein & Cuomo have some kind of alliance right? (3+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:38:14 AM PDT

  •  Klein has a girlfriend, you know... (3+ / 0-)

    fellow turncoat Senator Diane Savino of Staten Island.

    She has done some good things on marriage equality, but the rest of her record is more like Klein's.
    She would probably be harder to dislodge, given the politics of Staten Island.

  •  Thanks for the link! (5+ / 0-)

    Few things, though:

    1. The Republicans who dissented from Skelos more often than Klein mostly seem to have done so from the right.  

    2. Klein actually voted with Skelos 99.38% of the time, or on all but 5 votes this session (up until 03/31/14).  Actually, I only counted non-unanimous votes, so you could argue an even higher percentage.

    3. That actually understates things, since on 2 of those votes, Skelos was voting with a small number of other Republicans, apparently on parochial Long Island issues and presumably without making much of a push (here and here).

    The only votes where Klein voted against Skelos and against most Republicans were on the DREAM act, when only O'Brien and Felder joined the Rs, and where even then Klein was criticized for how he brought the issue to a vote;  on 'eliminating an employer's annual notice requirement'; and on whatever this is on the housing authority.

    27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

    by Xenocrypt on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:45:01 AM PDT

  •  Klein is all about Klein (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, charliehall2, Mannie

    always has been. Always will be. He needs to go.

    Andrea Stewart-Cousins is a fine State Senator and will make a fine Senate Majority Leader as she should be!

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:50:14 AM PDT

  •  I like this in Daily Kos: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, KayCeSF, Mannie

    This kind of piece where we "name names" and support the reporting of malpractice with evidence. Thanks Kos!

    An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:54:14 AM PDT

  •  How many seats do we need to flip (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for Dems to take control of the NY Senate?

    This is one place where can clearly elect a better Democrat.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Thu May 15, 2014 at 10:21:09 AM PDT

  •  4 i think. its 32-28 right now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thanks some dems caucusing with the rs.

    •  It is complicated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Right now there are 25 in the Democratic caucus, 30 Republicans elected as Republicans, 1 Democrat (Simcha Felder) who caucuses with the Republicans, 5 in the IDC caucus, and 2 Democrats who have been kicked out of the Democratic caucus because of corruption, for a total of 63. So to get 32 real Dems we need to pick up 7 seats. I have no idea how we can do that with the current gerrymander and in fact there are a few real Dems who are in marginal districts who will have trouble getting re-elected this fall.

      This is how you a 33-32 Democratic majority turned into a 36-25 deficit. :(

      •  We might get Felder back (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if the Senate were 32-32 and we offered him a very good deal for his constituents, who are largely charedi Jews. He is actually a decent person but the district is very conservative, voting only 41% for Obama, only 0.5% more than Andrew Lanza's gerrymandered district in Staten Island. The guy he defeated makes Greg Ball look like a Progressive.

  •  Wait. Can you admit to that graph? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought the general rule is that the GOP covers the full range of thinking from A to B.  Looks like the reds spread out just about as much as the blues.  In different places, for sure, but just about as broad.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu May 15, 2014 at 10:31:47 AM PDT

    •  It's misleading (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, Xenocrypt, charliehall2, Mannie

      Because so few contentious bills make it to a floor vote, due to the five-men-in-a-room tradition of Albany negotiation, it's actually rare for any significant number of Senators to vote against a bill.  So just a handful of "no" votes can put someone at the far end of a graph like this.

      Frankly, counting votes like this might work in Congress, but in the NYS Senate, it's virtually meaningless.

      •  That's part of my point, actually. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        charliehall2, Mannie

        It's very, very strange to have this kind of unanimity and lack of party separation.  
        If I were to make the same graph about neighboring Connecticut, comparing State Senators to Republican leader John McKinney, then all the Republicans would be at around 80% similarity to him (the range is about 73% to 84%), and all the Democrats would be at around 34% (the range is about 32% to 39%).

        I certainly doubt there are any other chambers in the country where multiple people in one party vote with the leader of the other party on over 90% of non-unanimous votes.

        27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

        by Xenocrypt on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:08:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Politics from an inKleined position. (0+ / 0-)

    I’m not a big fan of vegetable gardens. Like my chickens, I prefer my salads to be cage free.

    by glb3 on Thu May 15, 2014 at 10:44:35 AM PDT

  •  You know... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xenocrypt, charliehall2

    Considering that Klein is co-leader of the Senate, and he and Skelos must agree to bring a bill to the floor, the most surprising thing is that he isn't in 100% agreement with Skelos.

    At any rate, though, it's kinda unfair to score him on his agreement with Skelos on floor votes because the power-sharing agreement requires them to agree before a floor vote even takes place.

    •  That's all fair. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As I said, part of my point is to illustrate the oddity of the New York Senate.  You could consider the graph an illustration of the effects of that kind of control.

      I will note that I believe Jeff Klein had a high agreement % with Skelos in the previous session as well, but I'd have to check to verify that and to see exactly how high the % was.

      27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

      by Xenocrypt on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:22:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd have to add in some misclassified votes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but it looks like Klein voted with Skelos last session at least 95% of the time.

      27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

      by Xenocrypt on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:43:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Klein is not a Republican. He is a traitor. (0+ / 0-)
  •  This graph is a bit misleading (0+ / 0-)

    as many of the Republican Senators actually are pretty moderate. Nine were endorsed by the state AFL-CIO, including Dean Skelos himself!

    Incidentally, that red Senator to the far right is Teabagger Greg Ball. You would not want any Dem to agree with him on anything. Furthest to the right is Velmanette Montgomery, who is about the opposite of Ball.

    •  Yes, that's why when you plot ideal points... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You get Velmanette Montgomery and Greg Ball at opposite ends.  In fact, you basically get the chart, but flipped for Democrats (since liberal Democrats dissent from Skelos more) and kept in the same order for Republicans (since conservative Republicans dissent from Skelos more).

      27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

      by Xenocrypt on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:47:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  KOPPELL IS A FRAUD (0+ / 0-)

    In 2009, when then-NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg wanted to seek a third term but needed to change the law to do so, it was Koppell who introduced the legislation necessary to make that change. At the time, Koppell, then a councilman representing the Bronx, said term limits “cut off people’s careers in politics, which makes no sense” and also “rob the public of a choice.”

    Koppell also told a local newspaper that the “public can’t be trusted” to make good decisions about who to put into office to represent them, adding: “Many people are not sophisticated enough to make some of these decisions. That’s why I believe in electing people who spend the better part of their lives working on these issues.”

    The Council eventually passed Koppell’s bill, enabling not only Bloomberg to seek a third term, but every citywide elected official and Council member who was facing ouster due to the two-term limit – including Koppell himself – to do the same.

    Koppell also took things one step further, endorsing Bloomberg for re-election, passing over a fellow Democrat, former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, who was also running that year, to do so. (For the record, Avella was defeated by Thompson in the Democratic mayoral primary that year).

  •  KOPPELL IS FOUL (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously Daily Ko, i am so disappointed in you.

    As a city council member Oliver Koppell

    (1) Spearheaded overturning term limits against the will of the people

    (2) Was part of Quinn's slush fund entourage

    (3) His district is the tale of 2 cities - he gave to his base but neglected the hispanic areas in his district.

    (4) berated and mocked a woman in his district for her concern for animals and told her to find better things to do in life

    (5) Yells and berates activists and he is just foul person.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site