Flanagan is fighting long odds.
In its own way, the fight for the leader's job was apparently nasty and there could well be lingering resentments. DeFrancisco says there won't be, that the conference is cohesive. But you can also tell he's still steamed about being told one thing by several of his upstate colleagues in terms of support, and then losing the leader's job by just three votes. Six upstaters deserted him for Flanagan.
DeFrancisco told Time Warner's Liz Benjamin, ''what should be practiced in Albany, like any other place where people work professionally, is look people in the eye and you tell them the truth. You don't lie, you don't make things warm and fuzzy. The reason we couldn't get an agreement, people were telling John (Flanagan) something, people were telling me something. In order to agree, you have to have an accurate count. We could have resolved this in two minutes if everybody told us, straight up, who they supported.''
It is a tad amusing to see a politician incensed by the behavior of his weasel colleagues, but understandable. Nor does he spare Cuomo, who claimed to have no dog in the fight, for interfering.
''Oh definitely he made calls, definitely, no doubt about it. He can do whatever he wants, but be honest about it.''
Now, there's a mouthful that could be imbedded in most Cuomo-related columns.
A deeply skeptical public now has to wonder why the governor preferred Flanagan, and why the six upstaters cast their votes for a Long Islander not exactly in sync with their upstate constituents on issues like the NY SAFE Act, for example. Were deals made? Promises? Already we're seeing political repercussions for the upstaters who did not support DeFrancisco. Schenectady veteran Sen. Hugh Farley suddenly has a challenger who says he will primary him. Farley says he isn't worried. But a rival from your own party is an expensive, time-consuming bother at the least.
There is a PR effort going on to sell Flanagan as a "family man," a "loyal" colleague, a "student of the issues."
You know, a nice guy who ought to be in power.
But that's just jive.
Flanagan has the gig because the powers that be want him to have the gig.
He will carry on where former Senate Majority Leader Skelos left off, doing the bidding of the hedge fundies, the real estate interests, the edu-entrepreneurs, and make them all very, very happy.
That's why Cuomo wanted him there.
That's why deals were cut with upstate pols to put him there.
That's why he's there.