Although he's now running unopposed, Brookhaven's Democratic Highway Superintendent John Rouse's campaign has disclosed payments of $35,000 to Strategic Planning Systems, the consulting firm of Michael Dawidziak and former Suffolk Republican chairman John Powell.
Republicans cross-endorsed the three-term incumbent in May, virtually guaranteeing re-election. Rouse will owe the firm, hired in February, between $60,000 and $70,000 by Election Day.
"I know it might look like we're being paid for nothing," Dawidziak said. But garnering cross-endorsements for clients eliminates uncertainty and such campaign expenses as polls, advertising and direct mail. "If they get all the lines they are happy to pay because we become their only expense," he said.
Powell worked to get the town GOP to endorse Rouse. Nick Caracappa also sought the nomination but dropped out. Dawidziak acknowledged Powell "clearly had the juice with the Republicans" to get Rouse the line. -- Rick Brand