For major-party candidates, ties to alternative parties can bring advantages or burdens.
Businessman Randy Altschuler seeks the GOP nomination against 1st Congressional District Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton). He’s endorsed by Suffolk’s Conservatives. But he’s also drawn fire from rivals for having once registered with the left-ish Green Party.
Some of those who have ripped the past Altschuler/Green connection — including county GOP chairman John Jay LaValle — also back recently-Democratic Suffolk Executive Steve Levy for governor.
Ironically, Levy himself had Green Party endorsements in his two successful runs for state Assembly.
In 2000, he drew 24,630 votes as a Democrat, 2031 from the Independence line, 505 on the Green Party line, and 542 on the Working Families line. In 2002 Levy drew 18,074 as the Democrat, 2,879 from Independence, 482 on Green, and 565 from Working Families, official tallies show.
Both Levy’s Republican opponents — Thomas Sarsfield in 2000 and Kathleen Brand in 2002 — carried the Conservative and Right-to-Life lines. The Greens lost their New York ballot status in November 2002 when they failed to get 50,000 votes for governor.
By comparison, Lazio ran with 'R' and 'C' backing as a Congressman from Brightwaters.
As for Altschuler, spokesman Rob Ryan said he never voted as a Green nor contributed funds. Altschuler told local “Liberty Report” blogger Frank Seabrook he once thought the party could help bring about clean water and air, but that “upon further review I understood that only conservative free markets policies offered real solutions to the challenges that face our environment and a free society.”