The unauthorized video of Rent Stabilization Association President Joe Strasburg speaking to a group in Brooklyn earlier this week turns out to be a treasure trove of information when it comes to understanding the politics of the rent control battle in Albany this year.

As you’ll recall, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos took a hard line on this issue, rejecting all but the most basic renewal of the current laws that are set to expire on June 15.

That is decidedly NOT what the Democrats are seeking, and even runs counter to what Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wants, which is to both strengthen and extend rent protections.

So, why is it that Skelos is playing hardball here? Well, perhaps the following comments from Strasburg might shed some light on the subject:

We took a very strong position last year to support the Republicans in order to them back into power. Because we had the so-call experiment of two years with the Senate Democrats who attempted to really hurt this industry.”

“…So, in the last 48 hours, RSA – and we’re not ashamed of it – we gave and donated and supported all the Republicans. We basically emptied our piggy bank in order to make sure they recaptured the Senate.”

“And Dean Skelos, who understands how important you are as an industry – and it’s selfish – but he understands clearly that if he doesn’t hurt us or he tries to avoid hurting us, we will be there for him next time around, and next time around is two years from now, and you need resources in order to achieve and maintain being in power.”

According to Strasburg, Skelos made it clear to Cuomo this week that he would not “entertain any discussions whatsoever on rent control” in connection with the budget.

That explains why the governor reversed himself on this, just days after saying he considered the rent laws and the property tax cap to be “connected” and wanted them dealt with in the budget.

Strasburg also had some choice words for Cuomo, describing the negotiationg style employed by both the governor and his father, ex-Gov. Mario Cuomo, as “either my way or I’m going to screw you.”

“So, that is why the Republican Senate majority becomes even more critical for this industry,” Strasburg concluded. “Because they are the last barrier before disaster in terms of all the things that we have successfully achieved over the many years.”

Keep in mind that Cuomo has received big bucks from the real estate industry during the 2010 campaign, and REBY is a major played in the pro-Cuomo Committee to save NY. However, both REBNY and the governor have acknowledged they’re likely to split on the question of rent control.

REBNY and RSA don’t always see eye-to-eye, either. Generally speaking, the former represents the big developers and landlords, while the latter is made of up those who own smaller properties.