Spin Cycle

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Republican congressional contender George Demos is launching a new cable TV ad — the most direct broadside yet  attacking his likely GOP primary foe, State Sen, Lee Zeldin, for allegedly voting “to fund Obamacare” in Albany.

Zeldin in Albany who called the ad “a blatant lie” said he and the Republican Senate did “not provide a single dollar of state funding” for Obamacare. He said the spot is an example of Demos’ irresponsible “slash and burn tactics” and called on his opponent to withdraw it immediately.

The ad, the third done by Demos, hit the Web Monday and will begin airing Tuesday. It starts with a clip of President Barack Obama saying “If you like your doctor or healthcare plan, you can keep it.”

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Then the announcer says: “Obamacare is a fraud,” and charges that Democratic Rep. “Tim Bishop and Lee Zeldin both made Obamacare a reality. And both should be held accountable.” Demos says he is the only candidate who has never voted for Obamacare and will vote to repeal it, if elected.

As backup, the Demos campaign cites S2600E-2013, a budget measure totaling $194 million that authorizes the state’s health department to spend for “services and expenses...for planning and implementing various health care and insurance reform initiatives authorized by federal legislation including, but not limited to, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

However, Zeldin maintains Demos’ “grossly inaccurate ad” refers to federal funding which the state received as a result of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order in April 2012 in which he set up health exchanges on his own. That money simply had to be accounted for in the budget, he added.

“The vote being desperately distorted was an omnibus appropriation of a portion of the approximately $48 billion the federal government spends on federal programs in New York State,” Zeldin said.

Zeldin must disclose his campaign fundraising by month’s end. Demos has already disclosed that he raised $220,000 from donors, but also provided $2 million of his own money for the campaign. Zeldin has lined up backing of most of the Repubican and Conservative establishment, though Demos does have the support of former Gov. George Pataki. The GOP primary is set for June 24 and the GOP is expected to formally name its candidate befor the end of February.

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Kevin Tschirhart, Demos’ campaign manager, said the campaign has no plans to drop the ad, but declined to say how much will be spent on the TV blitz, only that the buy will be “significant.” Demos spent about $100,000 on each of his two earlier campaign spots.