Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Nightmare After Christmas?

NY GOP Faces Challenges Up In Albany And Here On Long Island

Odelia Goldberg, who may have lost her bid to unseat State Senator Dean Skelos last November, certainly hasn't lost any momentum in challenging the status quo and in keeping the home fires burning. [Good for you, Odelia. Where is everyone else who ran -- including the incumbents who were so handily re-elected? The silence is most deafening -- and a wee bit frightening, too, with the opening of the 2007 State legislative session just days away!]

We've lifted (with permission, of course) a portion of Odelia's latest newsletter, which was not only timely, but may well be prophetic -- or so those who envision progressive change on Long Island can hope.

Michael Balboni leaves the State Senate for a highly coveted position in the Spitzer administration (a good move by both parties), and Senator Joe Bruno faces less than harmonious music as the FBI zeroes in on its intended target -- which may or may not be the Senate's Majority Leader.

And what of Deputy Majority Leader Dean Skelos waiting in the wings (is that a hook in hand, Dean, or are you just pissed that Joe has had more sports complexes and public parks named after him than you have)?

With the fate of Joe Bruno up in the air, the future of the State Senate hanging in the balance -- perhaps quite literally -- and Long Island's lot, for better or for worse, riding with the fortunes of Senator Skelos, these are interesting times, indeed.

Stay tuned for all the latest escapades from Albany to Rockville Centre, and read about it right here, on Long Island's favorite community-based blog (even if we didn't get honorable mention -- AGAIN -- from the Long Island Press...).
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And now, ladies and gentlemen, without further banter from the Peanut Gallery, Odelia Goldberg:

A Difference of 2?
In case you haven't heard....Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer named Republican State Senator Michael Balboni to be his top homeland security official.

A special election may in fact reduce the slim majority Republicans hold in the Senate. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Mr. Balboni's district (the 7th Senate District in Nassau County has 78,000 Democrats and fewer than 72,000 Republicans), and it will not be easy for his party to retain his Senate seat. The Democrats gained a Senate seat in November and the lineup is currently 28 Democrats and 34 Republicans - only a 3 seat edge for the majority. The Republican number will fall to 33 after Mr. Balboni vacates his seat. Another win for the Democrats will loosen the party's grip on Long Island, the last statewide power base.

Mr. Balboni has wanted out of the Senate for some time now and seriously considered a statewide run this year for Attorney General. Bruno held him back as his re-election was necessary to help the Senate Republicans hold the majority. It's too bad, watching the scandal-scarred Jeanine Pirro get destroyed by Democratic AG-elect Andrew Cuomo, I'm sure more than one Republican wondered, "what if....".

Does it get any better than this?

A Coup In the Works
As the Feds follow the cash trail in the Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno investigation, the big question is whether Bruno will be re-elected Senate Majority Leader on January 3rd.

Insiders say that if a coup attempt is made, it would be led by ours-truly, Deputy Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. This is a big gamble for us in the 9th Senate District. A successful coup will bring more of our hard-earned tax dollars to our district as our Senator will control the majority and divvy our the pork(at least for the next two years). However, an unsuccessful coup will backfire, freezing the pork we're so accustomed to.... Don't forget, Skelos was named deputy majority leader as a reward for backing Bruno in the 1994 coup. Thus far, aides to Skelos have had no comment.

You have to wonder if Bruno saw this coming....Just a few months ago, Bruno hand-picked the leader of the state Republican Party to be Joseph Mondello, the Nassau County GOP boss. Upstate senators and county chairmen have much reason to resent having two key party leaders based out of Nassau County.

And you thought New York politics was boring.
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Odelia Goldberg may be contacted by e-mail at or by telephone at 516-371-1721. The campaign's website, which remains active (can 2008 be far ahead?) is
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