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Long IslandPolitics

GOP files complaint over Dems' release of part of poll

Republicans, in a filing with the State Board of Elections, contend the Democrats should be compelled to release the whole results.

A Republican complaint filed with the state Board of Elections says Suffolk Democrats violated election law when they released only a portion of a poll boosting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and County Executive Steve Bellone.

The letter from New York State Republican Party executive director Jason Weingartner's last Tuesday says Suffolk County Democrats should be compelled to release the full poll. He cited a New York Daily News item, which quoted a poll showing Cuomo and Bellone performing well in Suffolk County and President Donald Trump viewed more negatively than positively. A one-page memo about the poll had been circulated by Bellone spokesman Jason Elan to members of the news media.

State election law says that candidates, political parties and committees can't publicly use polls to help or hurt a candidate without releasing the full poll within 48 hours.

John Conklin, spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections, said respondents have seven days to file a response. He called the complaint "somewhat rare. Usually people don’t talk about polls without releasing them."

Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer said Bellone's campaign committee commissioned the poll. He called it "a fine example of amateur hour" by "the Bellone crew. There’s a reason why they no longer work in North Hempstead, and this is Exhibit A."

Elan did not respond to requests for comment. Jon Kaiman, a deputy county executive under Bellone and former North Hempstead supersivor, declined to comment.

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