Republican Marc Molinaro announces his intention to run against Gov....

Republican Marc Molinaro announces his intention to run against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for governor on April 2 in Albany. Credit: AP / The Albany Times Union / Skip Dickstein

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro said Monday Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is trying to intimidate television stations into not running one of his campaign ads, saying the governor has the “mind of a third-world dictator.”

Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, said Cuomo’s campaign is demanding that stations “pull down” an ad that focuses on corruption scandals tied to the governor’s administration. Cuomo's campaign contends Molinaro's ad is misleading. 

 Among other things, the ad features a photo of Joseph Percoco, Cuomo’s former top aide and campaign manager, who was convicted recently in a bribery scandal.

Molinaro’s ad goes on say Cuomo “is under investigation again, for another pay-to-play scandal” and shows headlines regarding a federal probe involving state grants and political donations linked to Crystal Run Healthcare, a Hudson Valley company.

Crystal Run previously has acknowledged receiving federal subpoenas but has denied they pertain to a “pay to play” scandal. Charges haven’t been filed in the matter.

 A Cuomo spokeswoman confirmed the campaign sent a “cease and desist” letter to the cable company demanding the ad be pulled in part because news stories about Crystal Run don’t say Cuomo himself is under investigation.

 “It is false, cheap and nasty,” Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Abbey Collins said. “It is exactly what you would expect from Trump ‘mini-me’ Marc Molinaro.”

The Republican countered: “Andrew Cuomo will stop at nothing to intimidate those who dare to speak the truth about him.”

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