Conservative author and former Port Authority head George Marlin is out with a piece criticizing Republican State Party chair Joe Mondello's performance and telling Republicans that if they are "to become relevant in New York's political arena, they must dump Mondello and install a new generation of leaders committed to a philosophy of smaller government and lower taxes."
It's not particularly surprising that Marlin, a Conservative Party activist who has long been in the business of criticizing Republicans he sees as ideologically compromised, would say this. But his critique is in line with what some prominent local Republicans, including former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso and State Senator Marty Golden, have been saying, and will only provide more ammunition to Republicans who feel that Mondello hasn't articulated a coherent message since taking over.
County party leaders are expected to convene in September, when Mondello's term expires, to choose a new state leader.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has offered only a tepid statement of support.
I've asked two people mentioned as possible successors to Mondello, Niagara County Chairman Henry Wojtaszek and former State Senator Ray Meier, for their thoughts, and both have politely declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Matt Walter, executive director of the Republican State Committee, sent along this statement:
Chairman Mondello intends to run for re-election this fall based on his record of leading State Committee during some of the greatest challenges ever facing the Republican Party on the state and national level. Chairman Mondello took over the reins of a nearly bankrupt Republican State Committee in late 2006. In order to make the state party financially viable, he reinstated the Annual State Dinner and in three successive years, this extraordinarily successful event has hosted such Republican luminaries as Senator John McCain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, America's Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Governor George Pataki, while raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the state party.
Chairman Mondello is committed to keeping the state party organization as an independent entity that serves the 62 county Republican organizations across the state while working closely with Republican elected officials at the federal, state and local level.
In keeping with this philosophy, Chairman Mondello's leadership has focused on building State Committee into a lean, cost efficient entity that provides direct support to Republican candidates and organizations at the local level.