Skelos And Klein To Headline Manhattan GOP Fund-raiser…Or Not (Updated)
Senate Majority Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein are extending their partnership beyond government to the political realm.
The Bronx Democrat and Nassau County Republican will share top billing at an Albany fund-raiser on March 4 to benefit the Manhattan GOP, according to party Chairman Dan Isaacs, who announced the event in a “save the date” email today.
“I am also pleased to announce that the New York Republican County Committee will be making history: The first-ever fundraiser featuring the Co-Leaders of the Senate Majority Coalition, Senator Dean G. Skelos and Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, in recognition of their leadership and bipartisanship,” Isaacs wrote.
“This very special event will take place on Monday March 4th beginning with a cocktail reception at the Fort Orange Club that starts at 6:00 p.m. to be followed by a private dinner with both Senators at 677 Prime, perhaps Albany’s finest restaurant. An invitation will follow shortly but if in the interim you should have any questions please do not hesitate to call.”
(For the uninitiated, the Fort Orange Club, which is within about a block of the state Capitol, is a regular hangout of Senate Republicans – particularly those of the old school – while Prime is the preferred dinner/dinks locale for Klein and his fellow IDCers).
During a brief phone interview this afternoon, Isaacs told me the seeds of this event were planted when he came to Albany for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address.
During his visit, he was introduced to Klein for the first time by the IDC’s newest member, Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat who just so happens to be spending a lot of time with the NYC GOP leaders as he courts them in his long-shot bid to run on their ballot line in the upcoming mayor’s race.
“I saw what was going on up there in terms of bipartisanship and cooperation between the two conferences, and I said: Hey, let’s do something different,” Isaacs said. “It really is the first time ever that two leaders have come together for something like this, and I think that speaks volumes.”
Isaacs said he expects to get the invites to this event out within the next week or so. The cost to attend the reception alone will be $1,000 per person, while a ticket to the reception and the dinner will run $2,500 a pop.
The Manhattan GOP needs all the fundraising help it can get, since, as Crain’s Insider reported earlier this month, it is essentially bankrupt.
Isaacs, who has not been shy about expressing his interest in the state GOP chairmanship – though he is emphatic that he will not challenge the current chairman, Ed Cox – spends a lot of time setting up fundraising events for GOP elected officials and candidates from all over New York and, occasionally, outside of it.
But he has turned his attention to filling his own county committee’s coffers, and with headliners like these, his task will no doubt be easier.
I’ll be interested to see if Klein gets any static from fellow Democrats for agreeing to do this. Yes, he is already fully in bed with the Senate GOP from a government standpoint, but to take it to the next level like this and assist Republicans publicly might further inflame his critics on the other side of the aisle.
Then again, Klein did run on the GOP line this past fall, so perhaps this is all that much of a reach.
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t last long.
IDC spokesman Eric Soufer just emailed the following statement: “Sen. Klein did not agree to this type of event and will not be attending.”
Apparently, there were talks between all parties to have a fundraising event, but not specifically to benefit the GOP.
Somwhere, someone got their wires crossed – or received some pushback from above. I have a call in to Isaacs, and will update with more details if and when they are forthcoming.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on January 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm, and is filed under Downstate NY, Fundraising, IDC, Republicans, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|