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GOP chair warns prospective Dem Senate hopeful on non-profit

Adrienne Esposito, left, hasn't announced that she's running

Adrienne Esposito, left, hasn't announced that she's running for Senate as a Democrat candidate but drew a warning about stepping out of her nonprofit from opposing GOP leader John Jay LaValle. (Credit: Amanda Voisard, 2012)

Although environmentalist Adrienne Esposito‘s decision about running for state senate is still a week away, Suffolk Republican chairman John Jay LaValle says Esposito should step down or take a leave of absence from her nonprofit Citizens Campaign for the Environment if she runs.

He said nonprofit groups by law must be nonpolitical and Esposito could jeopardize the group’s tax exempt status if she tries to remain while running for office.

Esposito dismissed LaValle's suggestions: "Citizens Campaign for  the Environment has always been and will always be nonpolitical. We protect the natural world . . . and preserve the environment, and we're good at it."

Local Republicans successfully pushed a similar issue and blocked former Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko from giving his $107,000 in leftover campaign funds to the party to help his then-top aide Brian Beedenbender who ran a losing race to succeed him.

Republicans claimed Lesko would taint his role as executive director of Accelerate Long Island, a nonprofit group that nurtures tech start ups. Lesko decided to return the money to donors and charity, saying “I will not be an issue in the race.”

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