NEW YORK -- Add the upstate business community going negative in the final days of the campaign season. Unshackle Upstate, a consortium of business interests across upstate, has launched a final, targeted media campaign in the last stretch to try to help Republicans take back control of the state Senate.
The group is targeting three key races in seats now held by Democrats -– districts in the North Country and Syracuse areas, as well as the Erie County seat now held by retiring Sen. William Stachowski.
Tapping into Stachowski’s unpopularity that led to his September Democratic primary loss, Unshackle Upstate is hitting mailboxes today with literature drops pushing Republican Jack Quinn over Democrat Tim Kennedy in the race to replace the Lake View Democrat.
Using unflattering, side-by-side photos of Kennedy and Stachowski on the front of the mailing, a bold line proclaims: "Tim Kennedy will kills jobs just like Senator Stachowski did. We can’t afford that." On the back, the group cites its backing for Quinn.
The group is also placing ads in 17 weekly newspapers in the districts of the three contested Senate races. "On November 2, we have an opportunity to send a vital message to Albany," the ads all say in pushing the three different Republican candidates.
Unshackle Upstate, which says Albany has ignored its most important pleadings to try to help restore the upstate economy, insists GOP control of the Senate will help promote an agenda of controlling state spending and taxes and more business-friendly laws.
The mailings will reach 85,000 homes in the three Senate districts, the group said.
The battle for the Senate has become the most closely watched campaign in Albany, as Democrats and Republicans have unleashed vault-loads full of money in recent weeks in nearly a dozen contests that are said to be in play –- or near-play.
-- Tom Precious