This ad, from Republican Mineola Mayor Jack Martins attacking state Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington), is about as tough as it comes. It hits Johnson for taking money from Democratic Senate leadership embroiled in the Aqueduct mess while playing the not-helpful-for-Democrats "show me the money" line from Brooklyn Democratic State Sen. Eric "Stop The Sag" Adams.
Maybe it's just us, but its also curious that all the faces in this ad associated directly with Johnson -- Sens. John Sampson, Malcolm Smith, Pedro Espada and Smith -- are black and Hispanic, while the B-roll of "backroom deals" shows cigar-chomping old white men.
We reached out to Team Johnson for a response. We'll add it once it arrives.
(Update 1:12 p.m.) Turns out this ad is web-only and not actually airing on TV, according to Martins spokesman Umberto Mignardi.
(Update 2:16 p.m.) Johnson spokesman Rich Azzopardi responds: "Jack Martins' truth-deprived ad is yet another lie by his deceitful and relentlessly negative campaign.
The Inspector General never said Craig Johnson was a 'key player' in any investigation and Martins' lies simply do not hold up to the facts.
* There has been only one vote on Aqueduct (the 2008 NYRA Bailout, S6590) and Craig Johnson voted no.
* That legislation created the flawed Three-Men-in-a-Room process that took any power to determine who would run Aqueduct out of the hands of rank-and-file state senators and gave it a then Republican Majority Leader who was later convicted of public corruption.
* As Newsday previously reported, Craig Johnson told the governor he believed one of the competing developments had a better bid than the Aqueduct Entertainment Group.
Today the New York Post endorsed Craig Johnson, saying there was “no doubt, Johnson will continue to stand up for constituents, even when politically difficult. You won't find many principled pols like that in Albany.”