DeFrancisco Confirms: Cuomo Pressured Republicans on Skelos Replacement

Upstate conservative Senator John DeFrancisco has confirmed that Governor Cuomo “made calls” and pressured Republicans to elect his preferred choice, John Flanagan, for Senate Majority Leader.

In an exclusive report by The Mental Recession early last week, a high-ranking Senate insider said “Cuomo is pushing behind the scenes for Flanagan.”

Flanagan, a Long Island liberal Republican who voted for the SAFE Act and actively supports Common Core in New York, and DeFrancisco, a strong social and fiscal conservative, were vying for the leadership role vacated when former Senate Leader Dean Skelos (R) had to step down in the wake of his arrest on corruption charges.

The GOP operative explained to The Mental Recession why Cuomo would want Flanagan, a near carbon copy of Skelos, to be named leader.

“He needs to continue the same relationship he had with Skelos,” the source stated. “He’s been able to easily push through his agenda, why would he want it to change?”

During an interview with Liz Benjamin at Capitol Tonight, DeFrancisco confirmed our reporting saying Governor Cuomo “definitely” helped pick Flanagan because “he made calls” to members of the conference.

Benjamin asked, “Do you think the Governor had anything to do with it?”

“Oh definitely,” DeFrancisco responded. “Definitely, he made calls.”

He added, there is “no doubt about” the fact that Cuomo influenced Republicans to choose Flanagan.

DeFrancisco said, “people in the conference told me specifically he was making the calls.”

He also told Benjamin that the Governor would lie if confronted on it.

“No doubt if you asked him that question he’ll say he didn’t call anybody.”

Assemblyman Bill Nojay (R) ripped upstate Senators who buckled under pressure from Cuomo and Skelos, who both supported Flanagan.

Upstate 5 delivered control of Senate to Cuomo & LI RINOs – thank you Sens. Young, Nozzolio, Seward, Larkin, Farley

— Bill Nojay (@BillNojay) May 14, 2015

Cooperation between downstate Republicans and the Governor has been prevalent in the past, as noted with the SAFE Act legislation. Additionally, this past election, reports surfaced that Skelos and other Long Island Republicans cut a deal with Cuomo, providing their support for the governor’s re-election bid in exchange for him staying out of races on Long Island.

Long Island Republicans and Governor Cuomo ensured their pro-SAFE Act, pro-Common Core agenda will continue by pushing Flanagan into the leadership role, and we have weak-kneed upstate Republicans, whose constituents are most affected and upset with those initiatives, to thank.

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