Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has a very local nit to pick with fusion voting.

It involves the former county district attorney, Tom Spota, his corruption arrest and the local Conservative Party’s support for him. It’s a cliche to note that all politics is local.

But another cliche is this: Timing is everything in politics. And Bellone is putting the concept of fusion voting — allowing candidates to run on multiple ballot lines — on blast as he runs for a third term and a public financing commission could determine the future of the practice.

Bellone has blasted fusion voting in the past after Spota, who resigned in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to federal obstruction of justice charges. Bellone says fusion voting allowed Spota to stay in office.

“Voters had no choice,” he said in an interview on Tuesday with WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “And what I’ve said is, you know, that that’s like a Putin-style election. That’s not an American election. You walk into a ballot booth and you’re supposed to pick a candidate and then you see the same name on every line. It’s almost making a mockery of the voter.”

Bellone isn’t taking any minor party endorsements this year as he seeks a third term. In the interview, Bellone said he’s worked well with the progressive Working Families Party and that it “plays an important role in our politics.

But the WFP sees the commission as a very real threat and has filed a legal challenge to its legality.

The WFP did not initial endorse Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his 2018 re-election, backing his Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon. Cuomo appointed Jay Jacobs, the state Democratic Party chairman and a critic of fusion voting, to the panel.

Bellone in the WCNY interview said he supported the commission altering how fusion voting worked.

“You know, I’m much more concerned about outcomes,” he said. “And I think this commission is appropriate for the commission to be looking at this because at the end of the day, what they’re looking at is how to fix our democracy, and how to make it more inclusive, how to make it more representative of the state as a whole and the people that we serve.”