After some lobbyists told the Post and Daily News that State Senator Malcolm Smith, the Democratic minority leader, seemed to imply they should pay up now to gain Democrats' help (before the Dems win control of the State Senate this fall), Smith now says he was joking. Smith told the Daily News since the event for lobbyists was rained out, "like any good host" he thought it was "important to entertain all guests...That is simply what occurred; and nothing else." As for Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos's accusation of "thuggery," Smith said, "I think that demeans his position and has questionable overtones. I call on him to apologize."