This originally appeared in The Point. Subscribe here.
In another edition of Long Island is the center of everything, we noticed something interesting about the recent ads on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s political Facebook page. In a fusillade of ads from the page in mid-June, Cuomo called upon social media users to tell their state senators to vote yes on his ill-fated Red Flag bill, an attempt to get guns away from students believed to be dangerous.
Of the eight state senators mentioned by name, six were Long Island Republicans: Elaine Phillips, Ken LaValle, Carl Marcellino, Phil Boyle, Kemp Hannon, and John Flanagan. (Tom Croci, missing at the end of session, was also missing from his peers here.)
Cuomo has recently made Democratic control of the chamber a priority, a fight that will be won or lost in the NYC suburbs.
Facebook ads that have political content are now collected in an archive hosted by the social media company, which has been under fire for its role in helping to spread misinformation during the 2016 election. The archive includes ads launched on or after May 7, 2018, and the six LI Republicans plus two other downstate Republicans (Sens. Marty Golden and Terrence Murphy) appear to be the only ones mentioned by name in Cuomo-page ads — perhaps an acknowledgment of the region’s potential for moderation on the gun issue, even among Republican voters.
Cuomo’s campaign says the ads were geo-targeted and dovetailed with Cuomo’s campaign efforts for Democrats facing GOP incumbents. After the State Senate refused to take up his bill before the end of the legislative session, a new digital ad was released Tuesday.
The LI contingent getting called out on Cuomo’s page is just one of many interesting tidbits to be gleaned from mining the data in the new Facebook archive.