Skelos says he supports Astorino; doesn’t say how


Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and fellow Senate Republicans have been conspicuously absent from the campaign trail with GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.

They haven’t raised money for him, given him any from their campaign coffers or even attended many events with him.

SkelosCuomosigningBut don’t let that fool you. Skelos, who hasn’t been at an Astorino event and is sitting on $2.4 million in his campaign account, said he’s endorsed Astorino.

“I endorsed Rob Astorino months ago. I told the governor I was going to do it,” Skelos said today on “The Capitol Pressroom.” “I spoke at the Republican convention.”

Still, Skelos has attended more events with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat seeking a second term, than with Astorino. Skelos said he’s not attending tonight’s fundraiser with Astorino and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in Buffalo.

Skelos was among legislative leaders who went with Cuomo to Israel in July, and he’s attended terrorism briefings with the governor.

Skelos defended his appearances with Cuomo, saying they were about the state’s security and support for Israel.

“If you look at the appearances that I’ve made recently with him: it’s about support of Israel, it’s about security for our communities in New York state. That’s an obligation I have to do as majority leader,” Skelos explained.

Gannett’s Jon Campbell wrote Sunday about the tricky politics at play for Cuomo and Senate Republicans, who have enjoyed a solid working relationship since they’ve held power in 2011.

Senate Republicans are fighting for their political lives in the November elections, when all 63 seats will be on the ballot.

Skelos charged that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to knock Republicans out of power.

“He’s said on numerous occasions he’s going to take us out,” Skelos said. “And I think that would be the worst thing that could happen to the state. Everything would be dominated by New York City.”

He added, “I’ve never know a mayor of the city of New York to go so aggressively against one of the houses, which Bill de Blasio is doing. He’s calling up people, raising liberal New York City money in races against us.”

Democrats knocked Skelos.

“The Republicans have controlled the Senate for over 50 years and that has resulted in higher taxes, a crippled upstate economy, out-of-control mandates and a State Senate that has lacked transparency and accountability,” said Josh Cherwin, executive director for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.


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  1. Skelos has to go. The problem is Libous is under indictment and even closer to Cuomo than Skelos. Who else is there? The entire GOP Senate caucus is a pretty weak collection. But if Skelos continues to suck-up to Cuomo and throw the GOP base voters under the bus, the State GOP will continue to decline into irrelevancy. The SAFE Act was the last straw for Skelos, and to this day he’s made no effort to say he’s sorry or will work to amend it. If the GOP goes down in NY, the Skelos faction of the GOP Establishment will be to blame. Of course, Skelos will retire to Florida and not care a twit.

  2. Skelos & company have heard about the Astorino plan to have a massive layoff of State Civil Service Employees if elected, the way he has done in Westchester. He and other Republicans prefer to keep a distance from that.

  3. Skelos – “I endorsed Rob Astorino months ago. I told the governor I was going to do it,” Skelos said today on “The Capitol Pressroom.” Awww, did Dean get permission from King Andrew or does he have to report to Cuomo for ever move he makes? Skelos is king of the RINO’s and should strongly consider switching to the Democratic party.

  4. think, there are about 200,000 state employees.

    I’m willing to bet we could do with 150,000, what do you think? I know you’re the most important state worker on the books and government wouldn’t be the same without you, but most of us have little to do with state government and don’t really care if the work force is slashed. Wouldn’t affect us at all and I’ll still have to get up in the morning and go to work.

    And you’re wrong about Westchester, those employees took part in an early retirement incentive the state set up.

  5. Thank you Jane for admitting that massive layoffs of New York State Civil Service Employees (50,000)? is part of the Astorino plan as Governor.

    That’s right, many Westchester Employees took part in a New York State Retirement incentive plan. What happened to the tax savings of over $500 million since then. It didn’t go back to the taxpayers. It was used to hire Astorino campaign cronies!

  6. thinkaboutit – nothing like putting words in Janes mouth. A typical ploy for a Cuomo hack and supporter.

  7. Wrong August. Not a Cuomo supporter. Don’t even live in NY. Just commenting on the obvious.

  8. thinkaboutit – you don’t live in NY? Sure sounds like you know a lot about our politics after bashing Astorino. May not be a bad idea to keep your nose out of NY business and tend to the state’s business in which you reside…..CUOMO HACK :>)

  9. Hello August-I’ll comment where I please-thank you. It’s an easy guess that if Astorino talks about tax cuts and lays off his own County Employees, he will surely do it at the State level. Even your other crony on here, Jane admits that 50,000 could go. He seems like a phony with such contempt and disrespect for others that he probably would have fit right in at Treblinka or similar.