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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone went out of state — about 150 miles west of Hauppauge — to raise campaign money last year, according to last week’s campaign finance filing with the state Board of Elections.
Bellone 2015 Committee lists a $19,439 expense for Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Pa. outside Philadelphia, that aides say was used for a golf outing.
“It’s a beautiful course that people want to play. It's a course the pros play,” said Robert Stricoff, a Bellone fundraiser and the Suffolk County Democratic Committee’s first vice chair. Whitemarsh Valley, a private country club, was once the site of the Philadelphia Open, a former PGA tour event that Jack Nicklaus won three times.
Stricoff said the event was limited to 40 players, each of whom paid $1,500 for golf and dinner along with the bus ride to the course. “All the money was raised from people on Long Island,” Stricoff added.
Two years ago, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano went even farther, hosting a two-day $1,895-a-head golf event in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Bellone campaign returned a portion of two donations — $4,194 to developer Gerald Wolkoff of Quogue and $5,000 to Roxann Management Co., based at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, because each exceeded the $5,000 annual corporate contribution limit.