Painting the new Senate coalition as a “marriage” appears to be a popular theme these days.
Current Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said Wednesday he’s convinced the new partnership between Senate Republicans and the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference will be positive for the state.
“With the understanding that we’ve developed with the IDC, Jeff Klein and our conference, we’re going to continue to move the state forward,” Skelos said Wednesday on The Capitol Pressroom, a public-radio program. “We’ve shown over the past two years how we’ve been able to work with Governor Cuomo on a bipartisan basis.”
Senate Republicans currently are one seat shy of having enough votes on their own to retake the Senate majority. When asked by host Susan Arbetter if the IDC/GOP partnership is a “shotgun wedding,” Skelos dismissed the notion.
“No. I think this is going to be a good marriage, a marriage of trust,” Skelos said. “Again, like I said, we’ve worked together, so it’s not like it’s something new. And we do have a mutual respect for each other, both professionally and personally.”
Sen. Thomas Libous, a Binghamton Republican who heads the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, played the marriage card during a separate radio appearance Wednesday morning.
Skelos said a new set of Senate rules are currently being written that would allow the Independent Democratic Conference, led by Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, the be recognized as a permanent third conference. When asked by Arbetter how the two will handle appointments—such as appointing a commissioner to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics—Skelos said they will work together.
Skelos even joked about a media-coined term for the pair: “Skleinos.”
“Jeff and I, we’re working through the process on everything here,” Skelos said. “What we’ve committed to each other is there’s no issue we feel we can’t resolve in a bipartisan, favorable way.”