Spin Cycle

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Dissident Islip Democrats say all the signatures on freshman Legis. Monica Martinez's nominating petitions should be thrown out because she and her staff personally collected signatures that were fraudulent.

Julio O. Martinez along with Rafaela Vazquez and Tomasa Bonilla filed the specific objections late last week to the 1,603 signatures that Martinez (D-Brentwood) filed. She needed 500 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

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In their objection, Martinez foes said "many of the signatures were not personally signed by the persons who appeared upon...petitions" and "their names were signed without their authority and without their knowledge." 

As filed, the objection states that the petitions are "replete with fraudulent dates and/or forged signature or initials of signatories and/or subscribing witnesses."

Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said the entire effort is being engineered by former Legis. Rick Montano, who was badly beaten by Martinez  two years ago. "This is a cynical attempt to disenfranchise voters who signed Monica's petitions -- voters he once allegedly represented."

Martinez has also filed general objections against her primary opponent Giovanni Mata, who is backed by Montano, but she has until Monday to file specific objections to his signatures.

Her campaign committee reported last week that it raised $39,000 on hand, including $1,500 form the operating Engineer Local 15, and $1,000 from developer Gerald Wolkoff and Zeb Blackman, a partner in Bowne Management Systems in Mineola.

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Meanwhile, the dissidents' campaign committee, United to Reform Islip, raised $600 in contributions, with $500 from Montano's remaining campaign fund.