10:21 am Oct. 10, 2012
In a new ad, Democratic challenger Dan Maffei is doubling down on his criticism of Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle for supporting a bill that originally excluded some forms of rape from federally funded abortion services.
The bill has since been amended and no longer includes the controversial language which restricted federal funds for abortions in cases of "forcible rape," as opposed to statutory rapes or rapes committed in other criminal situations.
Maffei, who Buerkle ousted in 2010, is using Buerkle's support for the original bill against her, in hopes of painting her as too "extreme" for the upstate NY-25 district, and to peel away support Buerkle is expected to get among female voters.
A Siena poll from back in September showed the race was a dead heat, with Buerkle leading among independent voters, 45-36 percent.
This isn't the first time he's hammered Buerkle on this issue. Maffei already released one ad about Buerkle's record on this back on September 29.
UPDATE: In response to the ad, state Republican chairman Ed Cox released a statement steering the conversation to an unrelated scandal in Albany.
"Apparently, Dan Maffei hasn't been out of Congress long enough to forget how to make dishonest partisan attacks against his opponent.
"Maffei's latest attack ad on Ann Marie Buerkle accuses her of "making it harder" for rape victims - but there's been no word from Maffei about the sex abuse scandal raging in the New York State Assembly, where Democrat Speaker Sheldon Silver actively disregarded the well-being and safety of women working in the state Capitol.
"Silver used taxpayer money to cover-up allegations of sexual harassment, assault and rape against Assemblyman Vito Lopez and Silver's own Chief Counsel.
"By silencing their first victims with a sham investigation and a payment of government funds, the speaker gave them a second bite at the apple- and more women suffered.
"If Dan Maffei actually cares more about rape victims than his own party, we invite him to join us in calling for Sheldon Silver's resignation. Otherwise, he should admit he's just a hypocritical, mud-slinging politician."