Now that Ed Cox has praised Steve Levy’s governing of Suffolk County, State Democrats are hitting him for being Levy’s “de facto Campaign Chairman” and questioning Cox’s knowledge of Levy’s alleged wrongdoing.
“What did Ed Cox know and when did he know it?” asked State Democratic Executive Director Charlie King in a public statement. It was issued after Cox praised Levy this morning, following Levy’s announcement that he settled a 16-month investigation by giving up his $4 million campaign account and pledging not to seek a third term in office.
“Ed Cox doesn’t get it,” King said in a public statement. “Integrity counts. Ethics counts. It is not acceptable to break the law, which apparently comes as a newsflash to Ed Cox. The question for Ed Cox – Levy’s de facto Campaign Chairman during the campaign under investigation – is what did he know and when did he know it?”
The famous reference is, of course, to a question asked during the Watergate hearings of then-President Richard Nixon, who Democrats always delight in tying to Cox, who married Nixon’s daughter, Tricia, in the White House Rose Garden in 1971.
In an email to me, King elaborated on the statement, saying Cox didn’t just support Levy’s gubernatorial candidacy, but
hoisted foisted him onto the GOP, and was intimately involved with the campaign.
Now, it’s hard to see how Cox benefited personally or politically, from his ties to Levy. If anything, it was Cox’s recruitment of Levy that caused Cox so many headaches. The assumption at the time was that Cox worked with Levy in exchange for Levy’s help in a congressional race taking place in on his home turf, where one of the candidate’s was Cox’s son, Chris. Cox never made it onto the ballot and Chris lost the crowded primary to Randy Altschuler, who narrowly lost to Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.