Mayor Bill de Blasio came down hard on Republicans in the State Senate today after their deputy majority leader was indicted.
Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, said that the Senate GOP doesn’t represent the “interests” of people after State Senator Tom Libous was charged with lying to the FBI.
“I haven’t seen the details of that case. I think the Senate Republicans shouldn’t be in power because they don’t represent the interests of the people of this state, certainly the interests of the people of this city,” Mr. de Blasio told the Observer at an unrelated press conference in the Bronx.
Mr. Libous was indicted today on a single count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a court document unsealed today. He will be arraigned this afternoon.
The mayor labored feverishly behind-the-scenes last week to broker a deal between the Senate Democrats and the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway faction of Democrats, to govern the senate together after the fall elections. The IDC is currently in a power-sharing agreement with the Republican Party, irking many liberals who view the coalition as a way to empower right-leaning Republicans.
Mr. de Blasio has taken aim at the GOP and even the IDC for stifling at least some of his liberal agenda, much of which needs Albany approval. The Senate Republicans have struck back hard, promising to use Mr. de Blasio’s deal-making as a campaign issue in the upcoming elections.
While Mr. de Blasio is popular in the city, his brand of urban progressive politics is viewed more warily in suburban and upstate quarters of the state. The mayor, however, is promising to campaign to elect as many Democrats as possible.
“I’m very encouraged by the events last week. Of course the big question up ahead is the November elections and I will certainly do all I can to elect Democrats across the state.”
Scott Reif, a spokesman for the Senate GOP, said the “ultra-leftist” mayor was conspiring to ruin New York State.
“If ultra-leftist New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to have a debate about who represents the interests of hardworking New Yorkers, we’re more than happy to have that fight,” Mr. Reif said. “He and his Senate Democrat cronies want to raise taxes on individuals, businesses and families, spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on political campaigns, provide welfare and free college tuition to illegal immigrants and even allow them to vote and serve on juries. The people of this state have a clear choice: We can return to the era of high taxes and broken promises and allow our entire state government to be run by Mayor de Blasio and the radical Working Families Party or we can keep moving forward in a bipartisan manner under the responsible leadership of Senate Republicans. For most hardworking people, that’s a no-brainer.”