Spin Cycle

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Only $250, but Blakeman once supported a 4th District opponent

GOP candidate Bruce Blakeman leaves a news conference

GOP candidate Bruce Blakeman leaves a news conference on Jan. 27, 2010. (Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Since leaving public office in 1999, Bruce Blakeman and his consulting company, Madison Strategies, have combined to give more than $100,000 to political candidates and committees.

So why is one $250 check from 2009 of any note?

Because it went to a person Blakeman is running against this year in the 4th Congressional District.

The Republican Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the Nassau Legislature, could face Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, a Democrat, if both are victorious in the June congressional primary. In June 2009, Blakeman’s Madison Strategies gave Rice $250 as she was seeking her second term as DA.

Over the years, Blakeman and Madison have almost exclusively given to GOP candidates and party committees, according to state board of elections records. The $250 donation to Rice’s DA campaign account is among just a half-dozen made from Blakeman or his company to Democrats since 1999.

That small group includes former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (when he first ran for New York City mayor) and Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone.

Asked Monday about his company’s modest donation to Rice in 2009, Blakeman said through a spokesman that he thought Rice was “a good district attorney” but that he “would make a much better congressman.”

When he launched his campaign late last month, Blakeman also declined to attack Rice, saying her liked her personally but that he rejected the Democratic platforms she was running on.

Eric Phillips, Rice’s campaign spokesman, responded to Blakeman having once been a Rice donor by saying: “Kathleen's record and vision have earned her a large and diverse network of supporters, and we certainly appreciate Mr. Blakeman being a part of that group.”

Blakeman is in Washington, D.C., this week to drum up national GOP support for his 4th district campaign. He has said he will loan his campaign some start-up money, but expects to be competitive with Rice in fundraising.

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