John Kennedy Blasts Bellone for Attempting to Illegally Strip Financial Oversight Powers from the County Legislature and Comptroller

John Kennedy, candidate for Suffolk County Executive, says current County Executive Steve Bellone is trying to illegally strip both the County Comptroller and the County Legislature of their powers to oversee the county’s finances in an attempt to hide the fact that the county is facing a severe fiscal crisis. He is clearly attempting to hide the county’s finances from elected officials, Suffolk taxpayers and bond investors.

Mr. Bellone is looking to take away the county Legislature’s financial oversight powers — a violation of New York State Municipal Law. In addition, Mr. Bellone wants to create a Central Purchasing Department that would review the county’s policies and procedures every year — the same job that is currently being performed by the county Legislature.

Bellone’s proposal would further reduce the Comptroller’s powers to implement checks and balances, which are used to keep watch of Suffolk taxpayers’ money. This proposal would drastically reduce the Comptroller’s ability to review county finances to every four years instead of every year. Not surprisingly, Mr. Kennedy currently holds the position of Comptroller.

“Only a professional politician like #BigTaxBellone would have the nerve to pay thousands of dollars to buy a vanity line called ‘Protect The Taxpayers’ for this year’s election, while, at the same time, work behind the scenes to try to eliminate the fiscal oversight that’s in place to actually ‘Protect The Taxpayers’ of Suffolk County,” said Dean Murray, Campaign Manager.

For more information, visit www.johnkennedyforsuffolk.com or follow #SaveSuffolk.

John M. Kennedy Praises U.S. Congress for Passage of Extension of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

John M. Kennedy, Candidate, Suffolk County Executive, thanked members of the United States Congress for passing a bill that would allow the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to be funded for the next 70 years.

On July 12, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Act, now known as the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act. This piece of legislation would ensure that the fund — which is used to financially support the families of those who were killed during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 — would continue to receive monetary support through the year 2090.

“I wish to thank members of the United States Congress for passing this important piece of legislation,” Mr. Kennedy said. “I especially wish to thank Congressmen Peter King and Lee Zeldin for recognizing our local heroes while getting this bill passed. Suffolk County is home to many first responders and law enforcement personnel who died in the 9/11 attacks. It is only right that we help their families and let them know their loved ones and their heroic actions will never be forgotten.”

For more information, visit www.johnkennedyforsuffolk.com or follow #SaveSuffolk.

Statement from Suffolk County Executive Candidate John M. Kennedy on NYS Legislature’s Passage of Bill Granting Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

“I am disappointed that the state lawmakers in Albany voted to approve this terrible piece of legislation. Granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, in my opinion, is a very bad idea. It is a slap in the face to law-abiding citizens and especially to those immigrants who went through the long and difficult process to become legal, taxpaying citizens of this great country. We should not be rewarding illegal behavior. Driving in New York State is a privilege, not a guaranteed right, and we should not be extending privileges to those who do not follow the law. I strongly urge the Governor to do the right thing and veto this legislation.”

“Serious Corruption in Suffolk County,” So Says Top Elected Official

During a June 4 general meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature, DuWayne Gregory — the county Legislature’s Presiding Officer and, like current County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat — said he spoke with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about allegations of corruption within Suffolk County government. “I made a serious allegation,” Mr. Gregory told those in attendance. “I’ve spoken to the FBI about my allegations. Do you know what the FBI said? They said there was serious corruption in Suffolk County.”

Mr. Gregory went on to say how embarrassing it was to have a federal agency speak this way on Suffolk County government. He further stated, “They have to clean up their act, because they are embarrassing Suffolk County. … When the federal government is saying that … ‘you preside over a corrupt government,’ I take that very seriously.”

(Mr. Gregory begins speaking at the 1:41:10 mark. The video can be seen here: https://livestream.com/scnylegislature/events/8506009/videos/192070526.)

“Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise, as we’ve seen several scandals in Suffolk County during Bellone’s tenure,” said Dean Murray, Campaign Manager for John Kennedy, who is running for County Executive. Numerous corruption scandals have surfaced over the past several years, including the indictments or convictions of the Suffolk County District Attorney, the Assistant District Attorney in charge of the county’s Government Corruption Bureau, the Chief of the Police Department and the county’s information technology (IT) director.

Mr. Murray said, “It’s time to #SaveSuffolk, and we can do so by electing John Kennedy as our new Suffolk County Executive on November 5th, 2019.”

Suffolk County Executive Candidate John M. Kennedy Says Governor Cuomo’s “Bait-and-Switch” Scheme to Fund Municipalities Will Not Work

John M. Kennedy, Candidate for Suffolk County Executive, said that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to fund local municipalities facing budget shortages with sales tax revenues collected from online purchases is nothing more than a “bait-and-switch” scheme that will not solve local governments’ financial problems.

Governor Cuomo recently announced a proposed 30-day amendment to the Executive Budget by using Internet sales tax revenue to fund villages and towns that are economically impacted — one month after proposing cuts to the Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) program, which many towns and villages in New York State use for general funding. Any municipality that requires assistance would receive money from online sales taxes rather than from AIM.

“This proposed bait-and-switch scheme will not affect New York City, but it will affect all the towns and villages in Long Island, especially Suffolk County,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Using Internet sales tax revenue while slashing AIM funding is not feasible, especially when these local governments are facing extreme economic circumstances.”

Suffolk County Executive Candidate John M. Kennedy Calls on Steve Bellone to Return $400,000 He Raised at December Fundraiser with Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Assisted in Killing Plan to Bring 25,000 Jobs to New York City

John M. Kennedy, Candidate for Suffolk County Executive, is calling on current County Executive Steve Bellone to give back $400,000 that was raised at his re-election fundraiser last year in which Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins — who was one of the elected officials responsible for killing a plan to bring 25,000 jobs to New York City — attended.

On December 19, 2018, Ms. Stewart-Cousins headlined a fundraiser for Mr. Bellone’s re-election campaign in Huntington. Despite Ms. Stewart-Cousins’ public declarations that she would work to protect the interests of suburban working people, she was one of the elected officials who fought against the proposed Amazon HQ2 facility in Long Island City.

On February 14, 2019, Amazon announced it would not open a New York City location. Such a project would have attracted those same people whose interests she purports to protect.

“Mr. Bellone denounced the failure of the Amazon deal, while Ms. Stewart-Cousins supported undermining the deal,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Mr. Bellone should do the right thing and give back that money that Ms. Stewart-Cousins raised for him.”

Suffolk County Executive Candidate John M. Kennedy Blasts Steve Bellone for Amazon’s Decision to Pull out of New York City

John M. Kennedy, Candidate for Suffolk County Executive, blamed the current County Executive, Steve Bellone, for failing to keep Amazon in New York City by campaigning for a Democratic majority in the state Senate that would vote to stifle economic development.

On February 14, 2019, Amazon announced that, because of fierce opposition by members of the City Council and the state Legislature, it will not bring its HQ2 location to the Long Island City section of Queens. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — both Democrats — attempted to keep Amazon in New York City, but their efforts were thwarted by state Senators in their own party.

“Steve Bellone campaigned for six months to bring a Democratic majority to the New York State Senate,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Mr. Bellone accomplished that goal and they failed to authorize Amazon’s proposed headquarters. This was necessary for the region and it would have brought in 25,000 jobs, which would have benefitted those in New York City and Long Island. Lo and behold, as no surprise, Mr. Bellone’s allies were unwilling to do what’s necessary to improve the local economy.”

Suffolk County Comptroller John M. Kennedy Announces Candidacy for County Executive

CAPTION: Suffolk County Comptroller John M. Kennedy announces that he is running for Suffolk County Executive at a press conference that was held at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge on February 11. He is joined by Republican elected officials including (back row, left to right) U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin, Suffolk County Legislators Leslie Kennedy and Tom Cilmi and Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

On February 11, Suffolk County Comptroller John M. Kennedy held a press conference at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge to announce that he is running for Suffolk County Executive. He was joined by Republican elected officials, union members and supporters.

During the press conference, Mr. Kennedy said he will use his experience as comptroller to repair the county’s troubled finances that was the result of the sitting county executive’s wasteful spending policies, leading the county to receive a junk bond rating.