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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Contentious congressional race takes light tone in ad, spoof

Jack Martins, GOP incumbent candidate for New York

Jack Martins, GOP incumbent candidate for New York State Senate 7th District, poses for a portrait at his office on Thursday, July 3, 2014. Credit: James Escher

ALBANY — The contentious and litigious fight for the Republican line in the 3rd Congressional District on Wednesday spawned a playful TV ad by one candidate and prompted a joke announcement by the other.

Republican Jack Martins’ first TV ad features his four daughters around a kitchen table talking about how they needed some spending cash. Martins then launches into a wonky speech about legislation that he helped pass as a state senator to assure equal pay for women in a spoof of traditional campaign ads.

“Now he’s gonna start talking about taxes,” one daughter says amid plenty of eye-rolling.

“Cut middle class taxes to the lowest rates in 70 years,” Martins says.

“Here he goes,” sighs another daughter.

“Jack Martins has a beautiful family and he’s smart to feature them in his commercial,” Pidot responded. “Less compelling are his claims to be a tax cutter.”

The TV ad’s tone contrasts with the monthslong court battles in the Republican race between Martins, of Old Westbury, and Philip Pidot, of Glen Cove. Martins had unsuccessfully challenged Pidot’s nominating petitions in court, but the protracted fight moved the GOP primary from June to Oct. 6.

A federal judge last week rejected Martins’ attempt to move the general election for the congressional race from Nov. 8 to Dec. 6. Martins argued that more time is needed for campaigning against Democrat Thomas Suozzi, the former Nassau County executive from Glen Cove, and to provide enough time for absentee ballots to get to military voters overseas. The federal judge ruled against that effort after the Department of Defense granted a waiver to suspend its 45-day period required to make sure military voters receive their ballots.

Martins’ appeal of that decision is scheduled for Sept. 14 in a federal appeals court.

Pidot also took a lighter route Wednesday in a spoof news release.

“Litigious Albany state senator and NY3 congressional candidate Jack Martins has filed a court motion to move Christmas from December 25 to January 12 this year, the campaign of Philip “Flip” Pidot has learned,” stated Pidot’s release. It included clear disclaimers in red ink that this was a spoof “intended to highlight the absurdity” of the long legal fight.

The satirical statement went on to joke: “An earlier Martins court motion to delay the start of 2017 until February 11 is awaiting a hearing.”

The winner will succeed Rep. Steve Israel in the district that includes parts of Long Island and Queens. Israel is retiring from Congress.


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