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Local pols release campaign finance filings

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice, speaks

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice, speaks during a news conference in support for state legislation titled the Trafficking Victims Justice and Protection Act. (June 19, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

Candidates for state, local and federal offices had to submit campaign finance reports by Monday. The filings for state and local candidates cover the period Jan. 1 to June 30, while filings for federal candidates cover the period June 7 to June 30. Following are fundraising tallies from key candidates:

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, a Democrat serving her second term after failing to wrest the nomination for New York attorney general from Eric Schneiderman in 2010, raised $1,029,957 during the period and spent $256,000. She had $1,977,966 on hand.

While political observers have speculated privately about whether Rice will seek another elective office, her top political adviser, Eric Phillips, said Monday that Rice is "focused entirely on doing the job she was elected to do and . . . when the time comes for politics, she'll decide how best she believes she can serve the public."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, had $544,509 in his campaign coffers after six months in office. He raised $549,304, spent $4,794 and had $85,567 in debt related to his recent golf outing.

Donations included $15,000 from Frank Castagna of Old Brookville and $10,000 from developer Scott Rechler, who is involved in a business park at Gabreski county airport and $5,000 from the minor league Long Island Ducks, who play at the county ballpark in Central Islip. The Bellone campaign also got $540 in Mets tickets as an in-kind contribution for a door prize from Christopher Kent, who was former County Executive Steve Levy's last chief deputy.

Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota reported $652,914 cash on hand. Spota, a Democrat, raised $97,008 and spent $37,900. Spota is currently term-limited, but has launched a court battle to have the county term limit law thrown out. The district attorney has been able to amass a campaign war chest because he has run unopposed in his last two elections. Attorney Ray Perini, who has expressed interest in running for district attorney next year if Spota cannot run, has $141,019 in his coffers.

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) raised $485,805 for his re-election campaign, bringing his total on hand to $2.1 million. He spent $168,742.

Skelos received a $135,600 in corporate contributions; nearly a quarter -- $32,250 -- came from companies in the wine, beer and liquor industry. Thomas J. McAdam Liquor Co., a Manhattan liquor store known for stocking a large selection of Long Island wines, contributed $5,000. The legislature considered several bills this session concerning the alcohol industry. One successful measure will reduce some paperwork for small wineries and breweries, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to sign it.Senate Republicans, who hold a narrow majority in the Senate, reported $5.4 million on hand, with no debt; Senate Democrats reported $750,000 on hand, with debt of $1.45 million.

Spokesmen from each party traded barbs via email statements.

Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif called Democratic fundraising "anemic."

"Democrats have little cash on hand and are deep in debt," Reif said. "Their formula is not a winning formula."

Senate Democrats said they have paid off roughly $1.5 million in debt since the 2010 elections when they lost the majority that they had held for nearly two years.

Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy claimed that Republicans were "raking in" special interest money and said that Democrats would be competitive in November.

In the U.S. Senate race, newly nominated Republican candidate Wendy Long has a lot of ground to make up as she begins her campaign against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), the reports show.

Gillibrand, seeking her first full six-year term in November, reported raising $707,590 between June 7 and June 30, giving her $10.5 million in cash on hand. She reported no debts.

Long, who won her nomination in a three-way GOP primary June 26, said she raised $70,250 in the last three weeks of June, giving her $96,411 in the bank. She reported debt of $250,000, including a $17,000 loan she made to her campaign.

In the closely watched congressional race on the East End, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) reported he collected $192,635 in the last three weeks. His Republican opponent, St. James businessman Randy Altschuler, took in $127,383.

Bishop had $1.5 million in the bank, according to his filing with the Federal Election Commission. Altschuler's filing said he has $798,817 in cash on hand.

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