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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Cute children: a county executive candidate's campaign ad standby

If Tom Suozzi’s new campaign ad – featuring precocious young children and jaunty music – looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it before from a Democratic county executive candidate on Long Island.

Suozzi, the former Nassau County executive who is seeking to reclaim his old seat, released his latest television ad, titled “Counting,” on Monday. In it, cute children (alternately set in a classroom, next to a lemonade stand and in an SUV packed with groceries) attempt to count to two billion – the amount of debt that Suozzi accuses Republican County Executive Ed Mangano of running up since he’s been in office.

My colleague, Laura Figueroa, reported on the ad and Mangano’s response in today’s paper. But my first thought upon seeing it was its striking similarity to a spot aired by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone when he was running for office in 2011.

Bellone, a Democrat, set his cast of precocious children in business suits and in a legislative chamber, playing adult lawmakers who increase local taxes and run young people out of the region. The ad, also featuring a light, zippy score, was titled “Their Fault,” after the line that Bellone was then promoting on the trail: it’s not the children’s fault Long Island has gotten so expensive, but it will be their problem.

Bellone’s ad was buzzed-about at the time, but his decisive victory over Republican opponent Angie Carpenter probably had more to do with the fact he outspent her by a wide margin. Suozzi won’t have the same campaign cash advantage over Mangano, should Suozzi survive a Democratic primary challenge from businessman Adam Haber.

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