Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

The circumstances under which Steve Levy shared an address of a house in Holbrook with lawyer Ethan Ellner who'd previously been nailed on tax evasion draws examination today from Liz Benjamin.

Ellner, years later, from all accounts irrelevant to Levy, pleaded to multiple felony counts in that big mortgage fraud case -- yeah, the one involving the S-and-M stuff -- that was also brought against ex-Legis. George Guldi.

Levy apparently knew Ellner from St. John's Law School and was among those who wanted to give him a second chance.

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Said a spokesman as quoted for Ed Cox, GOP chairman and one of Levy's biggest champions in the party: "Had this been something we came across in the vetting process, I doubt this would have caused us to think twice. How many degrees of separation are there before something becomes totally irrelevant to a person's candidacy? I would argue that we're there."

Here is background on the mortgage-fraud charge case.

This is a point in the campaign season in which Levy, while a popular and well-known quantity in Suffolk, continues to be introduced to the wider public around the state. Much of that introduction has been on Levy's terms as he pushes his fiscal program and touts his record as executive. For those trying to make the case against Levy, however, this Ellner story is not so valuable in isolation as it helps feed into a creepy 'who-is-this-guy,' oppositional narrative for his rivals that already includes Levy's past association with the convicted aides Wayne Prospect and Steve Baranello.