Nassau Legis. Howard Kopel, a Republican from Lawrence, proudly announced in a recent campaign flyer that Democratic Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder of Queens had crossed party and county lines to endorse Kopel for re-election to the 7th legislative district.
County Democrats quickly called foul, accusing Kopel of “disdain for transparency” because he didn’t disclose that Goldfeder had worked for him.
They point out that Goldfeder wrote in his 2014 state financial disclosure report that he was vice president of client relations for Sutton Alliance, the Valley Stream title insurance firm owned and run by Kopel.
"This is information that the public is entitled to know," said Bonnie Garone, spokesman for the Nassau Democratic Party. "It illustrates what's wrong in Albany and in Nassau: entrenched politicians are more concerned with taking care of each other than in serving the public."
But Kopel said Goldfeder was no longer an employee when Goldfeder endorsed him along with Republican Anthony Santino, a town board member running for Hempstead supervisor.
Kopel said he had tried to see if Goldfeder could sell title insurance last year but it wasn’t a good fit, so Goldfeder left Sutton at the beginning of this summer.
“He’s a wonderful young man, very bright and talented,” Kopel said. “We were hoping that we could do business together but we couldn’t. I like him still.”
Asked if he should have disclosed his relationship with Goldfeder when announcing the endorsement, Kopel said, “I don’t see why. They’ve suggested he was obligated to endorse me because he works for me, but he doesn’t.”