Campaigns & Elections

The truth about these 2020 campaign ads

NY Candidates in both parties have been the subject of misleading attacks.

Rep. Max Rose called is calling out challenger Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis.

Rep. Max Rose called is calling out challenger Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis. Michael Brochstein/SOPA/Shutterstock

With just weeks to go until Election Day, competitive races are getting pretty heated in New York. 

A lot of it is happening on social media, where candidates and dark-money groups can tailor their messages to specific audiences based on data points like their age, location and political preferences. While the full extent of such efforts is not always easy to determine, candidates at all levels of politics are clearly leaning on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to reach voters. 

While Republican and Democratic candidates can now reach voters like never before via social media, they are sometimes using it to mislead voters about their opponents. Here are a few examples from legislative and congressional races across the state.

“When the virus hit”

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis, who is challenging Rep. Max Rose, may have her own issues with truthfulness; in April 2020, political allies photoshopped her in front of personal protective equipment and then included it in a political ad touting how conservative candidates were helping out during the pandemic. Rep. Max Rose makes use of that image in this ad, where a narrator exclaims that “Malliotakis passed a law to protect shady nursing homes that put seniors at risk” and even voted to cut hospitals at the beginning of the pandemic!

It is true that Malliotakis voted for an omnibus budget bill in early April that contained some controversial provisions – nevermind that Malliotakis is a Republican in a Democratic-dominated chamber – or that voting against this bill would have meant opposing state aid as a whole. Rose would’ve never used that against her!

“New York’s crime wave is no accident”

State budget votes are coming back to haunt Democratic incumbents in the state Senate. Whether or not changing state bail laws is really the goal of conservative mega-donor Ron Lauder, he gave $1 million to a super PAC pushing that message. A one-size fit all approach is making that budget go even further by allowing admakers to swap the names of state Sens. Andrew Gounardes, Jim Gaughran, and Monica Martinez out of the ad, which otherwise remains unchanged. It is true that they voted for the 2019 state budget bill that included new limits on cash bail before supporting a partial rollback the following year, but crime is rising nationwide and the NYPD’s own data shows that bail reform has little to do with it at the local level.

This highlights one of the political paradoxes of being in the legislative majority in Albany. Voting against the budget last year could have saved swing district Democrats some grief on bail reform – but then they could have been attacked for opposing funding for local schools. Yet you would not know that from the sourceless numbers thrown at the audience in the ads Lauder is funding against Democrats this time around, including a source-free claim that bail reform led to 9,000 additional crimes.

“Do Nothing Daphne”

Democratic state Senate candidate Patrick Nelson is using Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a political punching bag in a new ad attacking his Republican opponent. “State Sen. Daphne Jordan said she’d serve as a check-and-balance on Gov. Andrew Cuomo,” goes the 30-second spot. “Yet, she voted to give him dictatorial powers.” 

It is one thing to bash a Republican for being one of the 53 out of 63 members of the state Senate to support the bill expanding executive authority during a public health emergency, especially when Jordan also opposed a proposed constitutional amendment that could limit gubernatorial budgetary powers moving forward. Yet state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie arguably did the exact same thing. While linking Jordan to Cuomo might hurt her a bit with conservatives, Nelson might want to think twice before criticizing the three people in the room – the Working Families Party-backed candidate needs all the help he can get succeeding in his upstream battle to represent the northern reaches of the traditionally Republican Hudson Valley. 

“The Biden Express is Headed Left”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears to be the most targeted incumbent of all, even though Republicans have no hope this November of winning her deep-blue district. Stock footage of the progressive superstar is appearing in legislative and congressional races alike, but Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas appears to be particularly fixated on the freshman lawmaker. She even gets to sit ahead of Cuomo on the so-called “Biden Express” that Cruz pictures Sen. Bernie Sanders driving, with AOC two seats back.

Cruz is hardly the only person trying to get some attention by attacking her, but the mystery is why is he trying so hard even though he isn’t even running for reelection this year. Welcome to the never-ending campaign? “We’ll see AOC as EPA administrator,” Cruz predicts, implausibly, at the beginning of this ad warning of what will happen if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the election. The spot features a sparking buzzsaw, a seemingly depressed man slouching in a kitchen, a wide-eyed AOC saying “death” will ensue if global warming runs amok. Maybe Cruz ought to worry more about people comparing him to a serial killer.

“The Company You Keep”

The state Republican Campaign Committee makes its own case for guilt by association in this one-minute spot highlighting some questionable links between Rochester-area Democratic state Senate candidate Samra Brouk, Ocasio-Cortez and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. These include Brouk posing for a selfie once with Ocasio-Cortez and commenting on a social media post in which Omar talked about inspiring children to run for office. Associations like that are obviously very, very sinister, according to the ad, given Omar’s much-misconstrued past comments on 9/11 and how Ocasio-Cortez criticizes U.S. immigration policy. 

Republicans might be called hypocrites for blaming someone for a more high-profile member of their party’s controversial comments – the GOP’s own presidential nominee has called Mexican-Americans “rapists,” for example. Brouk’s opponent, Christopher Missick, however, is reportedly running away from Trump.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.