Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

With the day of reckoning on charges of alleged violations of House ethics rules against Rep. Charles Rangel drawing nigh, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) has found himself being castigated by two of his GOP challengers over Rangel's contribution of $15,000 in campaign money to him -- even though Bishop has given $10,000 of it away.

First it was Republican congressional hopeful Chris Cox who shot out a press release yesterday, blaring the title: "Chris Cox Calls on Tim Bishop to Return Charlie Rangel's Tainted Money."

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Then it was Randy Altschuler, Cox's GOP rival to face Bishop, who today e-mailed his attack: "Altschuler: 'The Silence is Deafening.' Bishop Should Return Rangel $$ and Call For His Resignation."

Bishop's campaign hit back at Cox this morning with an e-mail scolding, "Chris Cox Should Apologize to Tim Bishop for Making False Accusations" -- but yesterday afternoon Bishop's staff had not yet seen the Altschuler volley.

For the record, Bishop promised in a March 9 Newsday story to donate the $15,000 Rangel gave him in the 2002 to 2004 cycle to veterans' groups to build memorials.

Bishop's campaign finance filing last week shows that on May 28 (the day before Memorial Day weekend) he lists as "donations" $5,000 to the Combined Veterans of Riverhead and another $5,000 to the Fairfield at St. James Veterans Association.

As to the remaining $5,000, Bishop's press release said: "He is in talks with other veterans organizations to disburse any remaining funds."

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Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), also promised in that March 9 story to give away $14,000 in Rangel donations. His campaign finance filing shows he acted right away: under the category of "disgorgement," the filing shows that on March 9 he gave $7,000 to the Suffolk Police Veterans Association and $7,000 to Sayville VFW Post 433.