ALBANY - Senator John Flanagan, the Republican leader of the Senate rarely says anything negative about Andrew Cuomo, but he released a statement Wednesday that would appear to strike a sensitive nerve with the governor.
He said that Senate Democrats are “an appendage” of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
That might be sensitive because Cuomo and de Blasio have been engaged in a nasty public feud for more than a year, and Flanagan was calling attention to Cuomo’s recent endorsements of Democratic candidates for the Senate.
“It is unfathomable why Governor Cuomo would want to place de Blasio in charge of setting the state’s agenda by electing Senate Democrats,’’ Flanagan said, adding “it is disturbing that the governor believes that the radical and extreme agenda backed by the Senate Democrats is the right one for the people of this state.’’
Flanagan’s comments occurred after Cuomo backed three Democratic candidates for the state Senate on Long Island earlier this week.
Cuomo also told a Senate Democratic fund raiser Tuesday that Democrats are likely to win control of the Senate in November. But he warned that the control would not occur unless the main group of Senate Democrats are “smart enough and flexible enough” to cut a power sharing deal with the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference, a group of what is expected to be six senators.
Others also are showing interest in the Senate races, as shown by the flow of money into various campaigns in the closing weeks. In disclosure filings with the state elections board, the Senate Republican Campaign Committee reported $246,000 in contributions in the last 48 hours from a who’s who of special interests, unions, trade groups and real estate developers.
A Cuomo spokesman did not comment on Flanagan’s statement.