Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos raised eyebrows (mine in particular) during a CapTon interview last night when he informed me that his counterparts across the aisle are mired deep in debt following a hard-fought campaign that has so far failed to determine who controls the chamber.

The Long Island Republican accused the Senate Democrats of wanting to prolong the recount of the three cliffhanger races so they can use the balance of power question as a fundraising tool to help clear their campaign debts.

“They are right now in debt by at least $2.1 million,” Skelos said. “…They’ve taken out loans that are due Dec. 22.”

“By stretching this out, they are hoping to be able to fundraise by putting a spin that they’re going to be in the majority. Already they’re sending out letters and solicitations for money.”

As the DN’s Glenn Blain reported this morning, one of those solicitations referenced the Florida recount of 2000, which is what spurred HAVA and brought us the new electronic voting machines. Ironic.

The 11-day pre-general election filing shows the Democrats did indeed take out $750,000 worth of loans, but I was unaware that that had tacked an additional $1.35 million onto that balance. I asked Skelos where his information came from, and he replied:

“We are aware of that. We have been made aware of that that it’s actually about $2.1 million in loans that they’ve applied for, received, and that they owe by Dec. 22.”

“(Me: Who made you aware of that?). “We are aware of it. And you’ll see when the filings come out that that’s going to be the correct number, if not other money that they may owe also.”

Senate Democratic spokesman Austin Shafran confirmed that Skelos is indeed correct in this case, telling me:

“We’e going to spend whatever it takes to ensure a full, fair and honest count of every vote cast. We have started largest election protection effort in the history of New York to make sure that every vote cast is counted.”

The Republicans insist they ended the campaign win the black. They had $2.5 million on hand and no debt 11 days prior to the general election, but the final days of any campaign tend to be the most expensive.