State Senate Democrats Raise Money for Republican-Friendly Colleague

Ruben Diaz, Sr. the Democratic State Senator who is planning to run on both the Democratic and Republican tickets in his district, is having an August 16 fund-raiser hosted by Democratic leadership.

Diaz told me the event is happening at Maestro’s restaurant in the Bronx, and is being organized by State Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith and Jeff Klein, the co-chair of the conference.

The event should be worth checking out to see who shows up and if much is said about Diaz’s social conservatism. Unlike most of his Democratic colleagues, Diaz says he opposes same-sex marriage, stem cell research, and abortion.

Diaz said he supports Democrats when it comes to expanding affordable housing, improving public schools and job creation. But, he told me, “When it comes to family values, right there, I have to put a stop.”

“You have Democrats in the South and other parts of the country–there are Democrats just like me. Nobody questions them. Democrats like me are winning are over the country. Democrats opposing abortion, Democrats opposing same-sex marriage, so what is the problem with me? I’m not the only Democrat in the nation doing this.”

When asked about whether he would vote for a Republican to be the majority leader–a vote which could determine which party controls that house–Diaz said, “I might not vote for anybody. I may stay home.” He added, “I could get sick. I’m allowed to get sick.”

UPDATE: Liz Benjamin emails that she has a copy of the invite and that the event is taking place on the 13th, not the 16th, like Diaz told me.

UPDATE: Diaz clarified his remarks over the phone later.

State Senate Democrats Raise Money for Republican-Friendly Colleague