With slightly less than two weeks before Election Day, former President Bill Clinton will headline a campaign rally Wednesday night for Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, who is in a tight race against Republican State Sen. Lee Zeldin.
The rally, at the Staller Center at Stony Brook University, will be Clinton’s second appearance in support of Bishop (D-Southampton). Clinton held a similar rally for the Democrat in 2010 when Bishop went on to narrowly defeated Republican Randy Altschuler.
But Laura Doukas, president of the Stony Brook College Republicans, said a university email promoting the Bishop event “clearly violates” school policy not to endorse or oppose candidates for office.
“We're pretty outraged,” said Doukas, who has volunteered several times for the campaign of State Sen. Lee Zeldin, who is running against Bishop. “This email is clearly unfair and is pushing students to attend a rally supporting a candidate.”
Doukas, a junior business major from Hicksville, argued that, "university resources are being used to directly promote a candidate. It is totally uncalled for and breaks the rules of a 501(c)(3) and the university policy manual. Stony brook students should not be footing the bill for this incredibly divisive event.
She said the email was sent out separately from the normal weekly calendar of events on campus for all clubs. The college also is handling arrangements for 700 student tickets to the event.
Doukas said she has complained to Anthony Laviscount, director of student activities and that he has agreed to meet with her Wednesday morning before the event.
Neither Laviscount nor university spokeswoman Lauren Sheprow was available for immediate comment.
A Newsday / News 12 / Siena College poll last month showed Bishop with a 10-point lead over Zeldin (R-Shirley), who claims the margin is significantly smaller.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), who is running against Republican Grant Lally in the Third congressional district, also will attend the campaign rally Wednesday.