New York State Senate Independent Democratic Conference

The Democratic leader of New York's state Senate and the head of a breakaway faction of Democrats are criticizing each other over their continuing rift.

Despite earlier promises to work with traditional Democrats, the five-member Independent Democratic Conference is expected to again align itself with Senate Republicans during the legislative session that begins Wednesday.

Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Monday that the Independent Democrats' decision was "disappointing" and would allow Republicans to block Democratic priorities.

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Two Democratic factions in the State Senate say they are joining to form what could be a strong Democratic Majority in the Senate, leaving Republicans, who up until now have ruled the chamber in a coalition government, out of power.

Two endorsements made yesterday in state Senate races proved - yet again - that old adage about the game of politics and the strange bedfellows its players choose as they seek to achieve, maintain or consolidate power.

The first came from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is now two for two, technically speaking, in bestowing his general election support on fellow Democrats.

Cuomo's first nod went to Sen. Joe Addabbo, one of the Senate Republicans' top targets this fall who is facing a spirited challenge from a GOP rising star, New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich.