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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Political donors hedge bets on who will replace Israel


A half-dozen major Long Island executives who gave money to retiring Rep. Steve Israel’s 2014 re-election campaign are hedging their bets on the winner of the June 28 Democratic primary by donating to two different candidates, campaign filings show.

The scramble to replace Israel, of Huntington, has put some Democratic contributors in an awkward position because they have loyalties to two or more of the four major Democrats running for the nomination.

Take Bert Brodsky, the chairman and chief executive of Sandata Technologies Inc. in Port Washington, who split contributions between two Democrats — $1,000 to Thomas Suozzi and $1,000 to Jon Kaiman.

“I worked for both of them as a volunteer,” Brodsky said in a telephone interview.

Brodsky said he was an adviser on information technology to Suozzi when Suozzi was Nassau County executive in the 2000s and that he also was an adviser to Kaiman when Kaiman was the North Hempstead Town supervisor for a decade and later chairman of the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority.

People can give to as many congressional candidates as they like as long as they don’t exceed the $2,700 limit per each election, usually a primary and then a general election.

The others giving to two Democrats included:

  • Frank Castagna, chairman of Castagna Realty Co. in Manhasset, $2,700 to Suozzi and $2,700 to Kaiman
  • Catherine LaBianca, project manager of Castagna Realty Co., $2,700 to Suozzi and $2,700 to Kaiman
  • Milton Cooper, chairman and CEO of Kimco Realty in New Hyde Park, $2,700 to Suozzi and $3,700 to Kaiman
  • Frank Lalezarian, president of Lalezarian Developers in New Hyde Park, $500 to Kaiman and $5,000 to Anna Kaplan, North Hempstead Town councilwoman
  • Marilyn Monter, an executive at Holiday Management in Syosset, $1,000 to Suozzi and $500 to Suffolk County Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills)
  • (This posting has been updated to correct titles for Kaplan and Stern.)

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