ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Cynthia Nixon’s campaign cried foul on Monday over a pro-Andrew Cuomo mailer paid for by the Democratic Party that questions her support for Jewish people, with the candidate calling on the governor to apologize to New Yorkers.
Nixon, who has two children being raised in the Jewish faith, called the mailer “dirty, sleazy politics” and said Cuomo’s explanation that he didn’t know about the mailer isn’t believable.
“The idea that they would accuse me of being soft on anti-Semitism is an outrage,” she told Buzzfeed’s news show AM To DM on Monday. “The idea that Andrew Cuomo didn’t know this was happening is completely bogus and I think he actually owes an apology not just to say it was a mistake, but that it’s factually wrong…This is fear-mongering for political gain at its worst.”
The mailer says Nixon opposes funding for Jewish schools, supports “racist, xenophobic” calls to boycott Israel over its treatment of Palestinians and that she has been “silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.”
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“With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise, we can’t take a chance with inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who wouldn’t stand strong for our Jewish communities,” the mailer reads.
Cuomo controls the state Democratic Party and recently transferred $2.5 million to its account for election-related expenses. He said Sunday he wasn’t aware of the mailer until angry voters began complaining about it and still hasn’t seen it.
State Party Executive Director Geoff Berman has called the mailer a “mistake” and offered to use party money to pay for a Nixon mailer of her campaign’s choosing. Nixon says it’s too late to send a mailer and on Sunday suggested that Cuomo instead hold a press conference to apologize.
The state party hasn’t said who approved the mailer, or how many were sent out to voters. Messages left with the Cuomo campaign and the state party were not immediately returned Monday.
A Siena College poll released Monday suggests Cuomo has widened his lead over Nixon, an education activist and former “Sex and the City” star. According to the survey, Cuomo now leads Nixon 63 to 22 percentage points.
The poll was taken before questions surfaced about the anti-Nixon mailer — or before the state was forced to close the second span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge just a day after Cuomo held a celebratory ribbon cutting.
The second span was supposed to open to the public on Saturday but crews disassembling the nearby old Tappan Zee Bridge discovered that it had destabilized and could fall, potentially hitting the new span. The span is expected to reopen to traffic Tuesday evening.