State Sen. Malcolm Smith can add a new title to his illustrious career – chairman of the Independent Democratic Conference. He quietly picked up the position on Tuesday now that state Sen. Jeff Klein has assumed the role of co-leader of the Senate with state Sen. Dean Skelos as temporary president.
“[Malcolm] is a great senator,” said IDC spokesman Eric Soufer, who did not divulge details about Smith’s new responsibilities.
Conference chairman is the latest title for the man who was once Senate majority leader and openly flirted with running for mayor of New York City on the Republican ticket. So far this week, the conference has released a report on the benefits of raising the state’s minimum wage to $8.75 and got the makers of Four Loko, a once popular alcoholic malt beverage, to change its packaging to reduce binge drinking. But some Democrats are skeptical that Smith’s post will come with any real power.
“Is that a title – or did he fight Jeff [Klein] in the octagon and emerge victorious?” said one Capitol source.
A spokeswoman for Smith declined to comment about the designation.