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Guyanese American Democratic Conference Leader Takes On Bloomberg

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. June 18, 2009: New York State`s newly-elected Senate Democratic Conference Leader, Guyanese-American, John Sampson`s first act of defiance is against the city`s billionaire mayor.

Sampson yesterday said he still wants to dilute Mayor Bloomberg`s hold on the school system of the city as he has proposed in his Senate bill that`s up in the air given the chaos in Albany.

But the Brooklyn-born State Senator, whose ascension to the helm of his party`s bloc of senators came at the expense of Senator Malcolm Smith, said he is all for stripping Bloomberg of the ability to appoint a majority of members on the Panel for Educational Policy.

Yet he admitted he would like to `see if there can be some compromises` between the Senate bill he has put forward and the bill being pushed by the Assembly, which would allow the mayor to retain control.

But the issue is moot since the Senate is caught up in drama with no leader in sight and Democrat Pedro Espada showing no sign he would move back to the Dems. corner, much as Hiriam Monserrate has done.

Sampson for his part is well aware of the drama that`s holding up the state`s business and feels no senator should get paid until the leadership crisis is resolved.

`I don`t want to waste our taxpayer dollars,` Sampson said. `If we are not going to do any business, if we are not going to work, you know, I`m not here for theatrics. I am not here for show. Let`s do something of substance. Until that point in time, we don`t need to be up here and waste the taxpayer dollars.`

A state judge on Tuesday refused to overturn last week`s takeover of the State Senate by the Republicans, essentially leaving it to the Legislature to decide which party is in charge. The decision by Justice Thomas J. McNamara of State Supreme Court effectively puts the Senate at a 31-to-31 deadlock, but it also leaves Senator Espada Jr., a Bronx Democrat who crossed party lines last week, as the president of the Senate.