"We are facing a $6 billion deficit, and again the Senate Republicans have decided to focus on something other than the needs of the people of New York State. This time it's a tournament. We have real issues on the table that need to be dealt with. Further, we were on the day in question at a golf outing. Rain forced us indoors. And like any good host it was important to entertain all guests. That is simply what occurred. And nothing else.
In the Senate, I have consistently supported the strong regulation of lobbyists, including increasing requirements for disclosure. For some of these same lobbyists to serve as a source and accuse me is absurd. Certainly, there are interests who in the past have been responsible for millions going into Senate Republican coffers, who would strongly prefer to keep the status quo rather than break apart the partnership of do-nothing special interest Albany politics.
Come November, I am confident that the voters will focus on what is truly important and change and reform will rule the day. With regard to the comment Senator Skelos made calling me a "thug", I think that demeans his position and has questionable overtones. I call on him to apologize."