A direct mail blitz launched over the weekend attacked Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone as a “liberal” with “free spending ways” who has imposed $100 million in new fees since taking office.
The mailing, headlined “Report from the Right Suffolk County Edition,” does not identify its source and lists only a Hauppauge post office box.
Noel DiGerolamo, president of the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association, had warned before Labor Day that an anti-Bellone ad blitz was on its way. Reached Tuesday, DiGerolamo said, “I’m not going to make any further comment on it” and would not disclose if it was a union mailing.
DiGerolamo had criticized Bellone, saying he did not negotiate seriously on his bid to get $30 million in health concessions.
Jason Elan, a Bellone spokesman, said: “This anonymous pamphlet is dishonest and cowardly political nonsense. There is not much more to be said about it.”
No one could say how large the mailing was, but several officials speculated the mailing appeared aimed at prime GOP and Conservative voters who turn out in every election.
The two-sided mailing includes the headlines “Tax, Spend, Repeat” and “Taxes, taxes and more taxes.” It says that while Bellone has said “he is a different kind of Democrat,” he “has raised taxes every single year since becoming county executive and then layered on more than $100 million in additional fees that are nothing more than tax hikes in disguise.”
The mailing cites the conservative nonprofit group Reclaim New York for suing Bellone over “illegal fees.”
Reclaim New York spokesman Jadan Horyn said the group opposes the fees, but it is not a party to the lawsuit and has no connection to the mailing.
Frank Tinari, Suffolk Conservative chairman, also said his party was not involved.
Suffolk Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer, who has been feuding with Bellone, said he had no connection to the mailing.”
The mailing also trumpeted plans for “future editions” focusing on "out of control spending, increasing partisanship ... and twisted priorities.”
Suffolk Legis. Tom Cilmi, GOP caucus leader, said the mailing is on the mark. The Bay Shore lawmaker said, “Anything that exposes this administration ... for what has gone on with higher taxes, fees ... helps Republicans because it shows we’re heading in the wrong direction.”
Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) said whoever was behind the mailer "was sending a shot across the bow.”
But Trotta, a former police detective, said, “If it was the PBA, I find it comical because the reason for raising the taxes and fees was to pay for the 28 percent increase that Bellone gave to them.”