Spin Cycle

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ALBANY — Republican Rob Astorino is trying to take the first big confrontation in the governor’s race against Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo into Nassau County.

The Republican released an Internet ad Friday that says Democrats want to allow the federal Housing and Urban Development Department to put housing projects anywhere the feds see fit.

“High-rises could be allowed on any street,” the narrator says in Astorino’s ad.

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The ad is in response to two TV ads begun a week ago by Cuomo. Those ads running in New York City said Astorino, the Westchester County executive, is turning his back on New York’s tradition of fighting housing discrimination in a fight with HUD.  The Cuomo ads mention only Westchester, not Nassau where a similar conflict with HUD is underway. Long Island is the key to the critical suburban battleground in the governor’s race.

In the conflict between HUD and Westchester County, Astorino said he won’t let the federal government dictate local zoning. He said the county isn’t discriminating against anyone.

Cuomo had been secretary of HUD in the Clinton administration, a fact not lost in Astorino’s ad..

“Governor Cuomo, if you think unelected bureaucrats at your old agency should be in charge of Nassau communities, you've been in Washington and Albany too long,” Astorino’s ad concludes.

Cuomo's campaign had no immediate comment.

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