ICYMI: State Conservative Party Mike Long joined me on CapTon last night for a recap of his annual political conference, which took place this past Sunday and Monday at a hotel outside Albany.

During our conversation the issue of so-called “litmus tests” for endorsements came up. That’s of particular interest in this election year – a year that arguably could make or break the Senate Republicans. Long, as you’ll recall, made same-sex marriage a line-in-the-sand issue, refusing to endorse any Republican who voted “yes” on the measure. Of the four GOP senators who voted “yes” – Steve Saland, Roy McDonald, Jim Alesi and Mark Grisanti – only Grisanti is still in office.

Long is not drawing any such lines this year – not even on the SAFE Act, which continues to anger many of his members. In a separate interview with Capital NY, Long said medical marijuana, which the Conservative Party also officially opposes, won’t be a stand-alone litmus test, either.

However, both those votes will be doubled rated when the Conservative Party puts together its voting scorecard of lawmakers. Other issues that will receive the same treatment include legislation that would allow NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to raise income taxes on the rich to fund pre-K, the public campaign finance bill and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act (assuming that it includes the abortion-rights plank, which is the piece the right finds most offensive).

Long said he annonuced these double-rated bills at the legislative reception that closed out his conference Monday night. He also told me that there have only been two line-in-the-sand issues since he’s been chairman: Gay marriage and partial birth abortion. Vote “yes” on either of those, and there’s no way the Conservative Party would even consider backing you.

“If a person running has a good record on everything else, but falls short on one of these, he wouldn’t necessarily lose the endorsement,” Long told me during a brief telephone interview earlier today. “But I got news for you: If all those hit the floor and you vote for all three, that’s pretty close to getting the rug pulled from under you.”

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