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Jacobs chides NHEM Dems for donation to Independence Party

Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, Feb. 13,

Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, Feb. 13, 2013. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The North Hempstead Democratic Committee has contributed $4,000 to the Independence Party Club of Nassau, according to July filings, amid a feud between the minor party and Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs.

The donation was the largest single contribution received by the Independence Party Club of Nassau between Jan. 12 and July 12, according to filings with the state Board of Elections. It was the also the largest single contribution by the North Hempstead Democratic Committee in that period.

Jacobs in the past has criticized the Nassau Independence Party, saying its financial disclosures indicate that much of the funding goes directly to the party's leaders, including chairman Rick Bellando.

Bellando is catering manager for Oheka Castle, the historic Huntington catering hall owned by developer Gary Melius. Melius has told Newsday in the past he plays no role in Nassau political decisions.

Jacobs said in an interview that he was "surprised to see" the contribution to the Independence Party.

"I think it's just a waste of money," Jacobs said of the North Hempstead Democrats' contribution. "But that's their decision."

North Hempstead Democratic leader Gerard Terry said he had "no comment" about the donation. North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, a Democrat who is seeking re-election in November, declined to comment.

Bellando and an attorney for Melius did not return calls and messages for comment.

"It's a lot of money," Jacobs said. "I'm sure Gerard Terry is a smart, political professional, and I believe that he knows what he's doing and he must have seen value in it; what that is, I don't know."


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