The Suffolk Legislature's Democratic-and-friends caucus met today and, as expected, re-elected William Lindsay (D-Holbrook), Vivian Viloria-Fisher (D-Setauket) and Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor) to their leadership posts.
The news from the 90-minute meeting is that Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) joined the caucus to give it the critical 10th vote.
"Bill has earned my support," said Schneiderman, a Republican-turned-Independence Party member who ran on five party lines in November. "They invited me today and I attended. We’ll take it from there. I'm still maintaing my independence."
Schneiderman's move leaves Legis. Ricardo Montano (D-Brentwood) once again the odd man out. Montano, who quit the Democratic caucus in a huff in 2008, was hoping to be the power broker to give the Democrats the 10th vote. He had reached an agreement with Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer to rejoin the caucus in 2010, but Schneiderman's move leaves Montano irrelevant and not happy.
"I wasn't invited," Montano said about the caucus meeting. "Schneiderman, whatever he wants to do, that's his business. I'm not going to get into it."
Schneiderman said Montano asked him to stay away from the caucus and did not take kindly to his joining.
"He seems to be at war with me," Schneiderman said. "I think that my supporting Bill doesn’t put him in a strong bargaining position. It's not about Rick. Rick may have his issues with the Democratic Party and I hope he's able to work it out."