The Working Families Party plans to debut an ad on Wednesday attacking Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney for votes against the Affordable Care Act, according to state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi’s campaign for Congress. Biaggi, who is backed by the WFP, is running against Maloney in the race for the newly drawn 17th District.
Maloney’s votes against the ACA aren’t a new revelation, and he’s expressed pride in them in the past, as seen in the WFP’s video. “Of course I have voted against the Affordable Care Act repeatedly – 45% of the time, I think, against my own president,” he said in the clip from a debate with former Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth, who ran against him in 2012 and 2014.
In the ad, the Hayworth debate clip was juxtaposed with a video of him denying he voted against the ACA during a recent forum with the Yorktown Democratic Committee. “I repeatedly supported the ACA, and I will not let my opponent mislead you on that,” Maloney said in response to Biaggi stating that he “not only voted with Republicans” on the Affordable Care Act, but “voted repeatedly to water down.”
Biaggi’s campaign pointed to several examples of what it said were anti-ACA votes.
In 2013, Maloney was one of three New York Democrats to vote in favor of Republican bills that would have delayed implementation of parts of the Affordable Care Act, including requirements that employers with 50 or more workers provide insurance and that everyone must buy health insurance or face a penalty. Maloney said at the time, however, that he “strongly” supported the Affordable Care Act. “I strongly support the president’s decision to give employers more time to comply with the law, and I believe that we should give families the same flexibility we’re giving to our small businesses,” he said, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Later that year, Maloney again voted with Republicans to repeal a medical device tax that would have been used to fund Obamacare. He was one of 17 Democrats to vote for it.
Maloney’s campaign called the ad “baseless cherry picking” and said Maloney’s votes were actually an effort to strengthen the ACA, only parts of which he has opposed. Maloney’s campaign also said the WFP ad cuts off the end of his quote in the debate with Hayworth where he explained that he “introduced legislation to improve” the ACA.
“Senator Biaggi is running for Congress in a district she doesn’t live in, has never lived in, and has never represented. Rather than use the first ad supporting her to introduce Biaggi to voters and share a positive message about issues and ideas, WFP and Biaggi are choosing to engage in the worst kind of political smears and spread misleading lies about a fellow Democrat,” Maloney campaign spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement. “The pathetic decision to go negative in their first ad shows how badly Biaggi is losing this race. Voters know Congressman Maloney because of his long-standing relationships in the Hudson Valley and record of results, which is why they will see through this baseless smear.”
Biaggi’s campaign said the ad will be shared on the WFP’s social media channels but could not immediately provide details about how much the organization spent on the advertisement.
Read our 2022 congressional primaries coverage here.