State Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos will be coming to town on Oct. 7, and, according to several GOP sources, it's a sure bet he will sit down for a conversation with his Republican colleague (for the moment at least) Mark J. Grisanti of Buffalo.
That's because Grisanti holds a key position in maintaining the GOP majority in the Senate, and speculation continues that he may join the Independent Democratic Caucus -- a group of four renegade Democrats who are nonetheless Democrats when majorities and minorities are determined.
The sources say Skelos will make his case for Grisanti remaining in the party, even though no reapportionment lines have yet been drawn. And since Grisanti is a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic district, party labels are bound to prove important in the election of 2012.
--Robert J. McCarthy