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Sep 9, 2014 4:01 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Campaign Diary: Debates And Fundraisers

Sep 12, 2014 11:33 AM

U.S. Representative Tim Bishop and his Republican challenger for New York’s 1st Congressional District, State Senator Lee Zeldin, are working overtime to make sure they secure the most votes for the election in November.

Time is ticking, and they have many events and debates coming up.

This week, Mr. Bishop’s campaign kickoff is slated for Saturday, September 13, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at 757 Horseblock Road in Farmingville. Mr. Zeldin held his kickoff party on Monday at Centereach VFW Post 4927.

There will be a fundraiser for Mr. Zeldin on September 20 at the Bridgehampton home of Joe and Kristen Farrell for $500 a head. Mr. Zeldin’s spokesperson, Jennifer DiSiena, confirmed that House Speaker John Boehner will be in attendance to support Mr. Zeldin. Co-chairs of the event include George Tsunis, along with Cliff Sobel, Stephen Ross, Cris Damianos, Judge Ed Cox, Judge Charlie Lefkowitz, John Catismatidis, Randy Altschuler and Laurence Zuriff.

The Southampton Town Democratic Committee will host a fundraiser for Mr. Bishop on Sunday, September 21, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Southampton Town Councilman Brad Bender’s home at 55 Topping Drive in Northampton.

As for debates, the Hampton Bays Civic Association will pose questions to Mr. Bishop and Mr. Zeldin on Monday, September 22, at 7 p.m. at the Hampton Bays High School auditorium at 88 East Argonne Road.

In Patchogue, St. Joseph’s College and LI News Radio will both host a debate on Friday, October 10, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Muriel and Virginia Pless Center for Performing Arts located in the O’Connor Hall on the college’s Long Island campus at 155 West Roe Boulevard. LI News Radio will broadcast the debate live on 103.9 FM.

The League of Women Voters will hold its debate on Thursday, October 16, at 7 p.m. at Westhampton Beach High School at 49 Lilac Road.

Filling The Coffers

Since the beginning of September, both candidates have been sending out emails updating constituents and asking for campaign donations.

Just this week, Mr. Bishop’s campaign sent out several emails pleading with supporters to help him keep up with Mr. Zeldin’s numerous fundraising efforts. On Sunday, Mr. Bishop’s campaign announced that it had reached 2,000 donations just this month.

While neither campaign is releasing dollar amounts for how much cash they have in hand, as of the end of June, Mr. Bishop had $1.1 million and Mr. Zeldin had more than $136,000, according to campaign filings.

Jennifer DiSiena, Mr. Zeldin’s spokesperson, said that Mr. Zeldin is the stronger candidate, despite the numbers. “Regardless of the amount raised or spent, when it comes down to it, the voters will show on Election Day they are ready for a stronger leader and a change in Washington,” she said.

On TV, Mr. Zeldin’s commercials emphasize his desire to “shake things up in Washington” by sticking to what is “right and just” and showing “integrity, duty and hard work.”

Mr. Bishop, meanwhile, is advertising his commitment to creating and protecting jobs and the middle class.

According to Evan Lukaske, a spokesman for Mr. Bishop, the incumbent’s campaign totes his successes, from co-authoring the Water Resources bill, which is meant to strengthen waterways, beaches and harbors, to extending the North Shore Helicopter Route to and from East Hampton Airport in order to decrease noise on the North and South forks.

Mr. Bishop’s campaign has a website called ZeldinPlan.com that says Mr. Zeldin wants to increase the tax burden on the middle class and give tax cuts to the 1 percent.

Mr. Zeldin has been gaining momentum by getting endorsements from a number of people, including veteran groups, and touting his recently earned Guardian of Small Business Award, according to one of his latest press releases. His campaign has sent out numerous press releases about his thoughts on why it is “time to term-limit Tim,” mainly because he “refuses” to secure the U.S. border.

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Notice the difference -- at Lee Zeldin's fundraiser, a House Speaker, an Ambassador, judges, fat cats, the whole happy ruling class.

But at Tim Bishop's party? No one special, just the people, the nobodies. That's fine with me, and we'll put Tim back in Congress as we have before, because Tim works for us, not for the establishment.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 11, 14 11:29 AM
How about Bishops MONEY buddies on the eastend. Hollywood on the east coast.
By LongIslander (43), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 15, 14 12:04 AM
1 member liked this comment
Oh, and catch this: The Zeldin gathering is $500 a head, right? The Bishop admission? $30. Tell me now who's in the pocket of the high and mighty and who isn't.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 11, 14 11:33 AM
I am really shocked that you have the audacity to attempt to suggest that Mr. Bishop is funding his campaign with $30.00 a head fundraisers.

Do I have to go to the election websites to show you where his money comes from?

This isn't a defense of Mr. Zeldin in the least. It is calling you out for trying to plant the idea that Mr. Bishop is so pure that he is so loved by his constituents that they will send him back to Congress at $30.00 a pop.

Absolutely the ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 12, 14 11:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
You're reading too much into my post. I just stated the facts about the difference between these two fundraisers as reported in Shaye Weaver's article. (Shaye didn't report the suggested donation for the Bishop party, but that's what it is, $30.) Of course this doesn't tell the whole story, but I was struck by the contrast between these two events and what it symbolizes. That's all.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 12, 14 2:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
And I am quite sure that at some point Mr. Zeldin will do a hot dog fundraiser for $25.00 a head while Mr. Bishop invites Ms. Pelosi out here for a $1,000.00 a plate fundraiser on Gin Lane, as you well know too.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 13, 14 2:48 PM