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Brookhaven Republican Supervisor Edward Romaine’s picture was splashed across separate campaign mailings that also featured Democratic freshman county lawmakers Rob Calarco and Sarah Anker late last week, causing Republican officials to cry foul.
The mailings raised GOP ire because they appeared to suggest that Romaine and the Democrats were somehow allied. The mailing included the headline “Working together for a better Brookhaven.”
Jesse Garcia, Brookhaven GOP chairman, lambasted Anker and Calarco for the mailings “as an attempt to confuse voter by lying to them,” and labeled them “desperate acts by failing campaigns.”
The mailings, however, came from a group called the Long Island Law Enforcement Foundation, which according to campaign finance filings has spent $228,400 so far this year, funded by the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association Education Program.
The union put another $300,000 into the fund on Oct. 28, according to state campaign finance records. Noel DeGerolamo, Suffolk PBA president, did not return calls for comment. Calarco and Anker said they played no part in the mailing. Calarco said he was not aware of until he got one at home. "Our supporters pretty much do their own thing,” said Anker.
Romaine said he was honored by the group’s endorsement but said they did not consult him about yjr mailing beforehand. He also said he has recorded robocalls to clear up any misunderstanding and show his support for the two Republican candidates, Jennifer Juengst and John Halverson.
“I’m as surprised as anyone,” said Romaine, conceding the mailing might “raise questions in people’s minds.” But he added, “I’m supporting the Republican candidates.”