Mike Long Is Not A Fan Of Klein’s Coalition Plan
We’ve been hearing a lot over the past week or so from Democrats and their allies – the Working Families Party, labor leaders, Citizen Action etc. – about the need for a Democrat-controlled state Senate.
These folks have staged rallies calling on senators elected as Democrats to sit with the Democrats in the Senate, and even staged a protest today outside the Syracuse office of one IDC member, Sen. Dave Valesky.
The Senate Republicans have been lettting their deputy majority leader, Sen. Tom Libous, do most of their talking for them since Election Day, especially since Sen. Jeff Klein started publicly discussing his power-sharing plan for the chamber.
Oddly, we haven’t heard much from the GOP’s traditional allies about Klein’s grand plan.
So, earlier today, I placed a call to state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, who was kind enough to chat for a few minutes even though he and his family are still dealing with the loss of his Breezy Point home to the fire that followed Sandy.
I asked Long’s opinion on the possibility of an IDC-Senate Republican coalition, and he replied:
“Talk about disastrous…I’m certainly not happy, and it will not be a good year for us. What’s going to happen is there’s going to be two agendas – the independent caucus agenda, which is Klein’s agenda, and the governor’s agenda. There will be no conservative agenda. I don’t think they’re doing themselves any good.”
“… Conservative principles will be shoved aside. I submit to you that if they ignore conservative principles, then what is the sense of us endorsing Republican senators if they’re going to take this other path and move leftward? Then we might as well start running our own candidates every two years.”
I noted that some people consider the results of the Nov. 6 elections – from the race for the White House on down – to have been a repudiation of conservative principles, particularly here in New York where two “Tea Party” Republican congresswomen (Nan Hayworth and Ann Marie Buerkle) were defeated, while more moderate members survived, like Reps. Richard Hanna and Chris Gibson (I know there are some of you out there who are going to take issue with my characterization of Gibson as moderate, sorry).
Long rejected that analysis, noting that not every Republican who lost ran on a strict conservative platform. He also said that “an agenda of the left” – including a minimum wage increase and perhaps the legalization of marijuana for medical use (the bill is carried by IDC member Diane Savino) – would be “disastrous” for New Yorkers.
On the endorsement front, I asked Long if he regrets his party’s decision to yank their support from the four Republican senators who crossed the aisle to vote “yes” on same-sex marriage last summer.
Of those four, only one – Sen. Mark Grisanti - is certain to return to Albany come January. Sen. Jim Alesi opted not to seek re-election, and his seat was won by a Democrat, Senator-elect Ted O’Brien; Sen. Roy McDonald lost a primary to a more conservative GOP challenger, Senator-elect Kathy Marchione; and Sen. Steve Saland is all but certain to lose his seat in the yet-undecided 41st SD race to Democrat Terry Gipson, thanks in large part to the siphoning of GOP and conservative votes by Neil Di Carlo (who, for the record, was not formally endorsed by the Conservative Party).
If Saland were to have been easily re-elected, the Senate Republicans would now have 32 members (including Democratic Senator-elect Simcha Felder), and this whole coalition government discussion would arguably be moot.
blockquote>”They came to us for their endorsements and then they betrayed our endorsements by doing what they did,” Long said of the gay marriage “yes” voters. “They left me no choice.”
“…I also believe the Senate majority made a mistake when they voted to increase taxes, and paid a price for that. And I think Andrew Cuomo, while he’s not paying the price for breaking his word and raising taxes, that eventually will catch up to him.”
“We’re on a train-wreck course. My job is trying to turn that agenda in a different direction, a positive direction. Our princples are correct and our principles are right and I don’t intend to change the tenets, the philosophy of the party because of one election.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on November 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm, and is filed under Conservative Party, Mike Long, Republicans, State Senate, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|