Long Island Republicans hold a news conference to endorse State...

Long Island Republicans hold a news conference to endorse State Assemb. Andrew Garbarino to replace Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).

Daily Point

A tale of two campaign messages

The divide in what Jackie Gordon and Andrew Garbarino’s CD2 campaigns see as a top political issue is well-illustrated in the subject lines of two late-September campaign emails less than a week apart.

"We need Law & Order, we need our Police!" said Garbarino’s.

"I’m running to protect our health care," quoth Gordon’s.

The divide is visible on all the fronts of the modern campaign. On Facebook, the Bayport assemblyman posts about "LAW ENFORCEMENT SUPPORTS ANDREW GARBARINO" lawn signs and his law enforcement endorsements. His first general election TV ad was about Backing the Blue, and voter calls cover law-and-order issues.

Gordon’s campaign emails hammer her own point home, such as describing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as a "NATIONAL PROPONENT FOR DISMANTLING HEALTH CARE" in a Sunday note, or sending a September email highlighting the anniversary of the patients’ bill of rights.

The message discipline is true among some outside groups, as with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s first CD2 TV ad launched last week which talks about prescriptions and Garbarino’s contributions from drug and insurance companies.

The focus extends to relatively rare in-person events during this pandemic campaign season, as when Garbarino spoke this weekend after Rep. Pete King at a pro-law enforcement rally.

Naturally, the candidates are talking about other issues, too. Gordon, a former Babylon Town councilwoman and retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who has a TV ad featuring her in uniform aiming a gun, also has been active on veterans’ issues with past events and another one coming up. And Garbarino has a new TV ad released Monday that focuses on taxes, and he has upcoming engagements with an environmental group and carpenters union.

But the divide follows national partisan trends: moderate Democrats are hoping to run back the tight, health-care-focused campaigns that flipped the House in 2018, while Republicans from Congress down to the New York State Senate minority have harped on crime numbers, criminal justice reform protests, and issues like New York’s new bail laws.

Then there’s President Donald Trump, who also has been a big booster of the law enforcement message. But in a Monday morning string of get-out-the-vote tweets while recovering from COVID-19, he seemed to see the value of both messaging strategies.

"LAW & ORDER. VOTE!" he wrote, followed a few tweets later by "BETTER & CHEAPER HEALTHCARE. VOTE!"

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

Pete King and the case of the missing 9/11 funding

Weeks after it came to light that the New York Fire Department’s World Trade Center health program was missing nearly $4 million, local elected officials still are trying to get the money back.

And Rep. Pete King is connecting with a name inextricably linked to the city’s response to 9/11 in an attempt to fix the situation.

King’s White House connection on the issue is Andrew Giuliani – son to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani – who works in the Office of Public Liaison.

Read on to find out how King and others are working on getting the funding released to first responders.

—Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Super spreader

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Quick Points

  • In a video message Sunday from the hospital in which he’s battling COVID-19, President Donald Trump told the nation he’s learned a lot about the virus, saying, "I get it." Then he left the hospital to do a motorcade wave to supporters outside the hospital. So, no, he still doesn’t get it.
  • Nor does campaign adviser Jason Miller, who accused Trump’s rival Joe Biden of using the face masks he wears routinely as a "prop." Perhaps Miller’s definition of "prop" is "a device whose regular use is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the chance of being infected with a deadly disease."
  • An out-of-control wildfire in Ukraine is setting off landmines in the buffer area between government soldiers and Russian-backed rebels, making the task of controlling the blaze all the more difficult for firefighters. At least California’s firefighters only have to fight fires.
  • A new Siena College poll of likely New York voters has former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump, 61% to 29%, after Trump had said New York will be in play. Apparently, the president has a rather expansive definition of "in play."
  • He threw a baseball like he was angry at the batter, and for a long while no one did it better. RIP, Bob Gibson.

—Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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