11:37 am Oct. 8, 2012
A mailer portraying Democratic state senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. as a puppet whose strings are pulled by billionaire financier George Soros was sent to voters in Queens this week by the Virginia-based Common Sense Common Solutions political action committee, which has previously spent money attacking Democrats in competitive elections in New York.
The ad doesn't mention Addabbo's Republican challenger, City Councilman Eric Ulrich, who is also the chair of Mitt Romney's campaign in New York City.
The mailer describes Soros, a Hungarian-born Jew who is regularly caricatured by the American right in a way that both accuses him of anti-Semitism and is itself borderline anti-Semitic, as a profiteer of "insider trading, currency manipulation and speculation dealing" who "tried to buy our State Senate seat" and who "supports legalizing drugs."
In September, Forbes estimated Soros' net worth at $19 billion.
For the Common Sense Common Principles PAC—which misspells the name of Thomas Paine on its web site—the mailer is part of a broader effort to keep the Senate Republicans in power. The site currently features information about three politicians, all Democrats running for State Senate in competitive races that could determine whether Republicans hold onto their narrow edge.
The same PAC targeted Addabbo back in August with a mailer that misleadingly quoted an article from City and State, claiming Addabbo held a $500 fund-raiser at "the site of the very development for which the Senate Democrats have been investigated for bid-rigging …"
What the mailer did not indicate was that that portion of the article was explicitly derived from a press release sent by Senate Republicans and that there have been no charges filed against anyone from that investigation.
The 15th State Senate district was represented for years by Serphin Maltese, a Republican. Addabbo, a former City Councilman and son of a congressman, defeated Maltese in 2008, helped by Barack Obama's coattails.
The New York Republican Senate Committee has made Ulrich's candidacy a priority, endorsing him in his primary challenge against a former aide to Rudy Giuliani (who also endorsed Ulrich).