The letter, released today, is directed at Skelos and calls for him to open up a dialogue with Hispanic lawmakers to start better serving their needs, which were ignored during the state budget agreement, Diaz said.
According to Capitol Confidential, the GOP says Diaz has his facts wrong.
Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif told the Times Union blog that Assembly members Guillermo Linares, Naomi Rivera and Nicole Malliotakis were on hand, as well as former Assemblyman Roberto Ramirez, the first Puerto Rican Democrat county leader in the state, “along with dozens of Hispanic business and community leaders.”
Reif’s full response to CapCon:
This is absolutely not true, and Senator Diaz should be ashamed of himself for putting politics ahead of what’s best for New York’s Hispanic community. Sponsored by Senator Skelos and the well-respected Hispanic Federation, Unidad Latina was attended by hundreds of people, Senators and Assemblymembers from both political parties, and many Hispanic lawmakers. And, despite Senator Diaz’ best efforts to bully people into not attending, this conference was an enormous success which gave serious legislators an opportunity to make contacts, to listen and to learn, and to advocate for issues important to the Hispanic community. The Senate Democrats should spend less time trying to tear people down and more time trying to bring people together, as Senate Republicans have been doing.
Here's a sample of the letter from Diaz. Jump below for the full piece.
"I hope (and in speaking for myself) you will understand that until you build a dialogue with the six Hispanic Senators who serve as your colleagues in the New York State Senate, some of us will have a reason not to participate in your publicity events."
From Diaz to Skelos:
As everyone already knows, the Six New York State Hispanic Senators unanimously boycotted your Unidad Latina Legislative Conference that you organized in an attempt to garner the support of New York’s Hispanic Community.
I also hear that your so-called Unity Conference was not only boycotted by all Hispanic Senators, but by all of the elected Hispanic officials from New York State. Only some Republicans and Democrats who are not Hispanic attended.
A Legislative Hispanic Unity Conference without Hispanic Legislators in attendance? A Legislative Hispanic Unity Conference without any Hispanic Senators who happen to be your colleagues? This speaks volumes!
Please note that the six Hispanic Senators who serve as your colleagues in the New York State Senate represent communities that are suffering from the severe Budget cuts that you pushed through this year.
I hope (and in speaking for myself) you will understand that until you build a dialogue with the six Hispanic Senators who serve as your colleagues in the New York State Senate, some of us will have a reason not to participate in your publicity events.