Upstate will be the big loser if a new power change in the state Senate goes through, according to one high ranking state Senate Republican.
Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco says if history tells us anything, it’s that upstate New York doesn’t fare well when downstate Democrats control all branches of government in New York state.
"Upstate will be shafted, to put it in the vernacular, if New York City is running everything again," DeFrancisco said.
He says voters need to know how upstate will be affected by the power shift.
“This is going to be a very, very different state if that happens," DeFrancisco explained. "And if we get that message out, I think we’re going to do very well in this campaign.”
He wasn’t surprised by the news that the group of breakaway Democrats, known as the Independent Democratic Conference, intends to shift its allegiance from Republicans to Democrats after the fall elections. He says he understands how the five independent Democrats were feeling pressure after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s promise to the Working Families Party to get all the state’s elected Democrats into one caucus.
But Defrancisco says the looming change in the Senate’s power structure will re-ignite the upstate-downstate divide.
“I think the upstate/downstate issue will be huge because we’ve got proof of what happened when we had a totally Democratic Senate, Assembly and governor.”
DeFrancisco says last time downstate Democrats had complete power, spending and taxes spiraled. He says that’ll happen again, and is also concerned that power structure will mean there will be no way to temper the downstate liberal agenda.
But he also says it’s a long time between now and January, with the whole Senate up for re-election in between.
“I’m still positive about the Republicans taking over the Senate outright," DeFrancisco said. "But if not, I don’t discount there being a change of heart by some Democrats to make sure upstate is represented.