The congressional ethics investigation into Rep. Tim Bishop's request for a campaign donation from a constituent he was helping in 2012 continues to be fodder for his political foes, this time a "dark money" group that won't reveal its donors.
The American Action Network tomorrow will post a step-by-step timeline on a website called www. BishopBuyOff.com that takes a viewer through the chronology of how Bishop helped businessman Eric Semler get a permit for fireworks for his son's bar mitzvah and how Bishop and others asked Semler for a contribution.
"There is not a media buy behind it at this point," said network spokeswoman Emily Davis. The group is hoping news reports will get the word out about it.
Bishop, the six-term Democratic congressman from Southampton, has repeatedly and staunchly denied he did anything wrong or illegal.
The Office of Congressional Ethics compiled a 177-page report that said it found reason to believe Bishop violated laws and regulations, and recommended that the House Ethics Committee review the allegations. The timeline is largely built on material from that report.
The House Ethics Committee has not made a final decision on the matter.
American Action Network is one of the 501c4 nonprofit groups that have begun raising millions of dollars from donors that it will not identify. It is chaired by former Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, and includes former upstate New York Rep. Tom Reynolds as a director.
The group spent $500,000 to help elect Republican David Jolly in the hotly contest special election in Florida recently.
Davis said the group might invest in the effort to oust Bishop. "New York 1 is one of the districts we are watching closely," she said, but the group won't make a decision until later.
State Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) and Ronkonkoma lawyer George Demos will face off in the June primary to determine who will be Bishop's Republican challenger.