A week before the Congressional primary elections, Assemblyman Rory Lancman’s campaign is casting his opponents as weak on Israel and national security in a new piece of mail (see below).
It features a stern-looking Lancman next to the line “It’s a dangerous world,” written in a gritty font, hovering over a photo montage of nuclear missiles, a gun-toting thug, explosions, and the American and Israeli flags.
Inside, Lancman’s two opponents—City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Assemblywoman Grace Meng—are featured with the statements “would have voted to de-fund NYPD over terrorism surveillance program” for Meng and “called discussion of Israel’s security ‘a distraction’” for Crowley, over a picture of Lancman speaking to an Israel Defense Force soldier below.
The piece elicited a stern statement from Crowley’s campaign, who accused Lancman of using “Israel as a wedge.”
"This attack by Rory Lancman reeks of desperation,” Crowley spokesman Avi Fink wrote in an email statement. “There is very little, if any, daylight between the [three] candidates on this issue. Elizabeth has said on many occasions, in public, and to the press, that she will fight for a strong and secure Israel in Congress. Elizabeth is the candidate with the strongest public safety and counter-terrorism credentials, and she was endorsed by cops and firefighters and correction officers for that reason.
The Lancman campaign is free to rip ideas from the Mitt Romney playbook, but it really isn't becoming to use Israel as a wedge in this campaign."
The mailer comes after Lancman appeared on Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s radio show over the weekend. As Politicker’s Colin Campbell writes:
Like at other points in the campaign, Mr. Lancman brought the discussion back to Israel when he discussed the race on Mr. Hikind’s show.
“I think the Jewish community in Queens has rallied behind my candidacy because this is such an important race for issues that you and I have worked together in Albany, but really for Israel,” he said. “This is a district that has always sent strong, knowledgeable and vocal advocates for Israel to Washington and Israel needs that more than ever.”
Campbell reports Hikind as stating, “[I]t’s a no-brainer that Rory Lancman should be your candidate.”
The Lancman campaign, through a spokesperson, pushed back on Team Crowley’s statement, saying there’s “a long summer day's worth of daylight” between Lancman and his opponents on Israel and homeland security.