Republican Nassau County executive candidate Jack Martins is criticizing his Democratic opponent’s use of a political consulting firm involved in controversies surrounding New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The campaign of Laura Curran, a county legislator from Baldwin, has paid Manhattan-based BerlinRosen $192,613 since the beginning of this year for consulting work and production of campaign literature and mailings, according to filings with the state Board of Elections.
Jonathan Rosen, a BerlinRosen principal, has been a longtime de Blasio adviser, and the firm was subpoenaed in 2016 amid a probe of the mayor’s political fundraising operation. Authorities ultimately declined to charge the mayor with any crimes.
De Blasio, however, drew criticism for designating Rosen and other outside consultants as “agents of the city” — an attempt to exempt their communications with City Hall from New York’s Freedom of Information Law.
“Laura Curran brought the Bill de Blasio Pay-to-Play Corruption Machine into Nassau County to run her campaign,” Martins spokeswoman Mollie Fullington said in a statement this week.
The statement lines up with what has been a larger strategy of the Martins campaign: Trying to tie Curran to New York City politicians who are generally unpopular in the suburbs.
Martins is a former state senator from Old Westbury.
The statement, however, did not note that the Curran campaign’s primary connection to BerlinRosen is through one of its vice presidents, Isaac Goldberg, a veteran of Nassau political races before he went to work for the Democratic firm, which has more than 100 employees.
Goldberg, who has no direct ties to de Blasio, worked on former Rep. Steve Israel’s 2014 re-election campaign, Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas’ 2015 victory and State Sen. Todd Kaminsky’s win in last year’s special election.
Responding to Martins, Curran campaign spokesman Philip Shulman sought to tie Martins to former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who was convicted in 2015 of federal corruption charges.
A federal appellate court on Tuesday overturned Skelos’ conviction. Prosecutors say they will retry him.
“Nothing Jack Martins says can distract from the fact he was Dean Skelos’ most loyal foot soldier in Albany’s corruption caucus,” Shulman said in a statement, noting Martins’ initial support for Skelos following his arrest. “This is a desperate attempt by a flailing campaign that wants to turn the attention away from their own candidate’s record.”