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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Phil Ramos backers aim mailers at Giovanni Mata

Giovanni Mata, Democratic candidate for New York State

Giovanni Mata, Democratic candidate for New York State Assembly 6th District, poses for a portrait at the Upsky Hotel on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Photo Credit: James Escher

Backers of Assemb. Phil Ramos have started shooting back with direct mail against challenger Giovanni Mata in their heated 6th District Democratic primary.

In mailings reminiscent of the poster from the movie “Goodfellas,” Mata is pictured against a dark background and smaller photos of former Vice President Dick Cheney, President George W. Bush, Donald Trump and former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. Underneath, there’s a riff on former boxing champ Roberto Duran’s famed fold in the ring — “No mas Mata.”

The mailings, funded by the Fund for Great Public Schools, a super PAC backed by teachers, says Mata is allied with “immigrant bashing Republicans” backed by a “shady super PAC” connected with GOP strategist Karl Rove. Andrew Pallotta, executive vice president of New York State United Teachers, is the Fund for Great Public Schools’ treasurer.

Former Suffolk Legis. Rick Montano, a Mata ally embroiled in his own three-way State Senate Democratic primary, has sent a letter to the state Board of Elections charging that teachers’ super PAC spent money on one of the mailings even before forming the committee and failed to disclose the fundraising that paid for it within 24 hours as required by law.

Charter school backers, meanwhile, continued their assault on Ramos (D-Brentwood) with two new mailings. One criticizes him for voting for tax breaks for yacht owners and is headlined, “All aboard Air Ramos.” The mailing attacks him for visits to Orlando for events billed as legislative conferences that actually were “lavish vacations” paid for by “fat cat lobbyists and corporate sponsors.”

The mailing, paid for by New Yorkers for Independent Action, asks, “How can Phil Ramos be independent when he’s beholden to special interests . . . and living the high life.”

— Rick Brand

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