New York’s senior Republican leaders addressed the Log Cabin Republicans last night and stayed as clear as they could of talking about their current standard-bearer, gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino.
Instead, state G.O.P chairman Ed Cox and senate minority leader Dean Skelos focused their speeches on the importance of fiscal responsibility and chances of taking power back from Democrats, both on the state and national levels.
Skelos did say however that if he became majority leader on Nov 2, he will push for marriage equality to be brought to a vote, even though he voted against the act in December.
“When we win back the majority, let me say there is legislation that all of you are interested in that I believe should be voted on again,” Skelos told the group. “We are not going to stifle discussion, we are not going to stifle votes, and it’s truly my belief that people should be allowed -especially legislators, that’s what we’re elected to do- to vote their conscience.”
After the speech however, Skelos was asked about Paladino’s remarks on Sunday that he doesn’t want children “to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option.”
“I think they were inappropriate and he’s apologized for them,” Skelos said. “I just read the extensive apology and really what we should move on to is discussing taxes spending and job creation. I think that’s where the debate should move to.”
The officials were gathered for a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans Victory Fund at the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen’s club in midtown
Most of the defending of Paladino however fell to his running mate, Greg Edwards, who did not address the group but met with reporters afterwards.
“He’s a dynamic guy and he’s a passionate guy and sometimes his passion overwhelms him,” Edwards said. “We all stick our foot in our mouth on occasion but he recognizes when he makes a mistake. Carl is a conservative gentleman.
Edwards added that it is Paladino’s differences from the “chameleon career politicians” in Albany that make him an ideal candidate.
“He is not a politician that has a slick talking approach, that does things in sound bites. He believes that everyone deserves a seat at the table.”
Empire State Pride Agenda head Ross Levi sent the following in response to Skelos’ remarks:
It is encouraging news that the democratic process will be allowed to move forward, but ultimately, we need to win. The Pride Agenda encourages both Democratic and Republican candidates to voice their support for LGBT issues like marriage equality before the voters go to the polls and make their decisions on November 2. Our community needs to be focused like a laser beam on the upcoming elections and getting committed supporters of LGBT issues elected to office. We welcome allies of all political stripes, even if the last time it came up for a vote, the Senate Republicans were unable to muster a single vote in favor of allowing loving, committed same sex couples to legally marry in our own state.”