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As Nassau’s Rules Committee prepares to vote Friday on a contract to pay United Water more than $1.1 billion over 20 years to manage the county’s sewer system, a review of campaign disclosure reports shows that the New Jersey-based company and its Long Island chief executive officer, Gary Albertson, contributed more money to Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) than to Republican County Executive Edward Mangano.
Campaign committees for Abrahams, who ran an unsuccessful race this year to win the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Congressional seat being vacated Carolyn McCarthy, received a total of $5,725 in state and federal contributions from the company’s Federal PAC and Albertson from April 2013 through June 2014, records show.
In comparison, Friends of Ed Mangano reports contributions of $3,500 from United Water in 2012 and none since then.
Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who won the Democratic Congressional nomination, did not receive any contributions from United Water or Albertson, her campaign reports
A United Water Employee PAC contributed $5,000 to the Nassau County Republican Committee in 2012 and $5,000 to the Nassau County Democratic Committee Operating Account this year, state reports show.
Albertson also gave $500 to the campaign of Dave Gugerty, Abrahams' chief of staff, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for a North Shore legislative seat last year. Records show Albertson’s only other campaign contribution in Nassau was $150 to Legis. Rose Walker (R-Hicksville), whose son Rob Walker is Mangano’s chief deputy.
Other principals involved in the sewer deal include the law firm of Pannone Lopes Devereaux of Providence, Rhode Island, which is representing the county, and Robert McBride, a consultant for United Water.
McBride reported he worked for Park Strategies when he gave $1,000 this year to Abrahams’ congressional campaign. Park Strategies is a political consulting firm founded by former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato.
McBride has contributed to both Democrats and Republicans over the past 10 years, though records show no donations to Rice's congressional campaign. Among his many contributions were $200 donated to Gugerty’s campaign last year and $500 in 2011 to the judicial campaign of Gugerty’s wife, Helene. Records show he donated $1,000 to Legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) in 2012 and almost $21,000 to Mangano from 2011 to 2013. He also gave $2,500 to former County Executive Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat, in 2006.
The Pannone firm donated to both Republicans and Democrats over the years, including $1,000 to Mangano in 2013, $1,500 to Rose Walker from 2011 to 2013 and $350 to Legis. Rich Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) last year.