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ALBANY -- Not content to sit back and take it, Republicans in Albany fired back at Democrats Wednesday during the state Democratic convention where some labeled the GOP as extremists.
"New York is always better off when Democrats and Republicans work together to achieve results," said Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) from Albany.
Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone opened the state Democratic convention at the Hilton Hotel in Melville with a speech boosting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that included a partial echoing of the line that the GOP represents "extreme" conservatism. In his Tuesday night address, Bellone talked of Cuomo "turning around a government" that was in "dysfunction," although Democrats on Wednesday named the governor at that time, David Paterson, to run the state party.
Some Democrats on Wednesday also urged the five Democrats in the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference to rejoin the mainstream Democratic conference. The IDC left their fellow Democrats over some of the dysfunction Bellone spoke about. The IDC shares majority control with Republicans under a power-sharing coalition in the state dominated 2 to 1 by Democratic voters.
I was surprised to hear that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone believes New York Republicans represent extreme conservatism, especially since Senate Republicans have been working hand-in-hand with him on a bipartisan basis to help him dig out of the financial mess his Suffolk County finds itself in, Skelos said.
Political conventions come and go, but I believe the sound working relationship that exists between the state and local officials in his county should endure so all of our families have the opportunity to prosper, Skelos said.
Of course, Republicans also took their shots at Democrats at the state GOP convention a week ago.
Republican nominee Rob Astorino blamed Democrats for high taxes and slow job growth, saying: "What happened in New York is no less than a disgrace, a crime."