The Democratic candidate challenging Republican Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin is calling on authorities to investigate what the challenger alleged is the illegal use of taxpayer-funded mailers that double as campaign literature.
Jason Abelove, a Garden City-based employment law and discrimination attorney from Oceanside, called on Nassau County prosecutors, the county Board of Elections (BOE), the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JSCOPE), and the county comptroller’s office to investigate his allegations that Clavin’s office spent $5 million on about 70 mailers adorned with Clavin’s name, title and photo over the past two years.
“They’re coming almost daily, now that we’re close to the election,” Abelove said. “It’s illegal, I think it should be investigated, and [the town is] purely using taxpayer money to fund his campaign.”
Elected lawmakers having their names and photos printed on government-issued mail, signs and other materials to boost name recognition in voters’ minds is an age-old practice among politicians on Long Island and beyond. But the Republican majority in the Nassau Legislature recently proposed a bill that would further limit the ability of county lawmakers to send such mailers 45 days before Election Day.
“The Town of Hempstead’s mailings provide pertinent information to the town’s residents,” Hempstead Town Communications Director Greg Blower said in response to Abelove.
Recent town mailers, which town residents confirm regularly can be found in local mailboxes, include a budget report update touting “Clavin’s 2022 budget to cut taxes and maintain services,” another promoting parks upgrades that are “coming soon,” and a town event series dubbed “Don Clavin’s summer of fun.”
Representatives for JSCOPE, the BOE, prosecutors, and the comptroller’s office either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.