News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
The Suffolk County Conservative Party is honoring industrialist David I. Koch on Friday evening at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, presenting him with a “Patriot of the Year” award.
Koch (prononunced COKE), who with his brother Charles is a leading contributor to conservative causes and a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has residences in New York City and Southampton, where his summer fundraiser for Romney drew "Occupied" protests.
The fundraiser was planned well before word spread on Thursday that James Simons, reputedly Long Island’s wealthiest man, had given millions of dollars “super PACs” aiding President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates.
When it comes to honoring Koch, however, some conservatives object to the fact that he stated recently that he disagrees with the GOP’s stance on gay marriage and believes the U.S. needs to consider raising taxes to balance the budget. More discussion of this is expected.
Suffolk Conservative Chairman Ed Walsh said Thursday, “I see the glass being half full. Look what he [Koch] is doing. He’s obviously heavily involved in the Romney race. I believe he had a lot to do with Ryan being on the ticket. I think he’s stepped out ... and done some phenomenal stuff. He helped in the recall race in Wisconsin. He’s a guy who does not have to be involved, who can live a long healthy successful life, but he puts himself out there ... in a game where you get banged around ... to make the country better.”
In the past the award has been given to local figures, Walsh noted.