LIA sponsor credit at Democratic dinner an error

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Suffolk Democrats raised $300,000 at their fall dinner last week, but the party incorrectly listed the Long Island Association on a big sign as a host sponsor for the event at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook which drew nearly 500.

The business group never made the $10,000 contribution or any donation to the party dinner because by law, the LIA, registered as a nonprofit group, cannot not make political contributions.

Matt Cohen, an LIA spokesman, expressed surprise when called about the sign, and said the business group had no involvement with the dinner and Kevin Law, LIA president did not attend, even though he is a former Democcratic chief deputy county executive. The business group also has a separate political action committee, which is allowed to make contributions, but they gave nothing either, Cohen added.

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A Democratic spokesman said Richard Schaffer, the county chairman, spoke with Law by phone but never got a commitment for any donation. “It was just a mix-up,” said the spokesman.

The Democrats' event also had a separate big sign listing Suffolk Republican Comptroller Joseph Sawicki as a “cocktail sponsor,” at a cost of $2,500. Sawicki attended the dinner and in the past has received Democratic cross-endorsement for comptroller but now is in electoral limbo. Sawicki is term limited next year and the November referendum which would have merged the comptroller and treasurer’s office and made him interim head was thrown off the Nov. 5 ballot in court. Democrats, however, are vowing to put it up again next year.

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