Only one North Country Senator signs letter backing Skelos as Republican leader

Sen. Hugh Farley, Rep., Schenectady County. Photo: NYS Senate

Sen. Hugh Farley, Rep., Schenectady County. Photo: NYS Senate

UPDATE, 3:30pm: Senator Joe Griffo tipped his hand a little bit this afternoon. Griffo said through a spokesman that the fact that he did not sign onto the letter of support for Skelos “should speak for itself and send a message”. Griffo wouldn’t clarify his stance further than that, except to say that he’s working internally in the conference to help determine what happens next.

A letter was issued last night signaling strong support for embattled Republican Senate majority leader Dean Skelos.  Prominently missing from that list, however, are three powerful North Country lawmakers, including Betty Little, Joe Griffo and Patty Ritchie.

One North Country senator who did sign the statement was Hugh Farley (R-Schenectady County), the former Indian Lake and Watertown resident, whose district now winds deep into the Adirondack region.

“We strongly believe that Senator Dean Skelos should remain on as Majority Leader of the New York State Senate,” the statement reads.  “He has the leadership we need to move the Senate forward so that we can continue to do the people’s work and finish out this year’s session in a productive manner.”

The move came after Democrats tried and failed to oust Skelos from the top leadership post as the latest scandal embroiled Albany.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Glens Falls Post Star (UPDATE), Senator Betty Little called for Skelos to resign his leadership post.  “It’s unfortunate, but it’s just not going to work this way,” she said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Previously speaking with the Adirondack Daily Enterprise this week, Little signaled support for Skelos at least in the short term.

“There’s so many things we need to get done,” she said. Also, “there is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but certainly the allegations are very serious.  If the issue becomes a distraction, then that’s a different thing.”

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8 Comments on “Only one North Country Senator signs letter backing Skelos as Republican leader”

  1. The Original Larry says:

    “the people’s work”.

    Please! In New York politics, the presumption of innocence is frequently a polite fiction. This stuff is killing us. How long before we become a northern version of Louisiana, if we haven’t already?

  2. Presumption of innocence is a legal concept. It is not a political concept.

  3. Mr. Kent says:

    Not signing the letter is not the same as calling for Skelos to step down. It is just political cover. There is no middle ground in these affairs. You are either for or against. Ritchie and Griffo and any others who did not sign it but do not call for him to step down are no different than those who signed the letter. Give them credit at least for having the backbone to officially and publicly show where they stand. Thumbs down to the Ritchie’s and Griffo’s who play it both ways.

  4. Pete Klein says:

    If they called for Silver to resign from his position, they should be calling for Skelos to resign from his position.

  5. Michael Greer says:

    Have these guys been fitted for orange jump suits? It’s only a matter of time…

  6. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Wow! Hugh Farley more tolerant of the pervasive corruption in Albany than Betty Little! That is pretty bad.
    Funny that we look down our noses at corruption in third world countries when we have so much of it here.

  7. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Here is a good sentence to dissect: “Prominently missing from that list, however, are three powerful North Country lawmakers, including Betty Little, Joe Griffo and Patty Ritchie.”

    If it is true that these are “powerful” lawmakers one would assume they had some power in the collective decades they have served to limit corruption among their peers. Betty Little’s wishy-washy statement is hardly a beacon of statesmanship, but at least she is fumbling toward a position that protects her constituents more than it protects her colleague. Shameful for the other lawmakers who either signed the letter of support or who did not call for Skelos to step down as leader.

    Would it have been impossible for stalwart representatives of the people to write their own letter calling for a resignation? I bet I could write that letter in under 2 minutes.

  8. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Okay, I’m taking my own challenge. Ready…set…go!

    Dear Senator Skelos,

    As there could be an appearance of conflict of interest for a Senator who is under investigation or indictment to hold a position of leadership, we demand your immediate resignation from your post as Majority Leader.


    Done! Actually took me 3 minutes, but I was interrupted. I’m sure many of you could do better, but the above would get the job done.

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