Two different sources who attended the state Conservative Party’s 50th anniversary gala in New York City last night emailed to say that Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was booed by members of the crowd when he was introduced from the dais.
One source estimated between 30 percent and 40 percent of the audience participated in the booing.
He suggested rank-and-file conservatives are still smarting from the fact that Skelos allowed the same-sex marriage bill to the floor for a vote last summer, where it passed, thanks to the “yes” votes of four members of his majority conference.
Those votes cost the members – Sens. Mark Grisanti, Steve Saland, Jim Alesi and Roy McDonald – the Conservative Party’s cross-endorsement.
One of the four, Alesi, has opted not to seek re-election this fall, thanks to a lack of support from both fellow Republicans and Conseravtives in his Rochester-area district. (This has as much, if not more, to do with Alesi’s short-lived lawsuit against a pair of constituents on whose property he trespassed and broke his leg as it does his “yes” vote on gay marriage).
It’s no secret there’s a certain segmenmt of right-leaning New Yorkers who are not Skelos fans. Carl Paladino is their ringleader. The Buffalo businessman has repeatedly said he would like to see the majority leader ousted, and is backing a number of the insurgent GOP candidates taking on incumbent members of the Senate.
Also rankling certain Conservative Party members, according to this source, is the Senate Republicans’ cozy relationship with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. I ran that theory past state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, and he – ever the pragmatist – he replied:
“I’m not quite sure I agree with that, but there are some times I think they’re not showing enough leadership…This might be about preservation, but I don’t think that’s what the public is looking for. They’re looking for leadership, and not getting on the bus and going along with the bus, but driving the bus a little more.”
Long stressed that he did not at all approve of the booing that took place last night. He said he didn’t know who the culprits were, but condemned the behavior as “not courteous.”
Alos, for what it’s worth, the source wrote the following:
“(T)he real stemwinder came – much to my surprise – from George Pataki!!! The people at my table were asking why he’s not being mentioned more prominenetly the mix for the VP spot on the Romney ticket.”
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