Lhota scare ad says de Blasio means crime, riots and crazy bikers
Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota released a TV ad today showing footage of the Dinkins-era Crown Heights riots and warning New Yorkers the city will devolve into a state of chaos under the leadership of his opponent, Bill de Blasio.
The 30-second spot, a memorably straightforward contribution to the horror-ad genre, slams the Democratic public advocate for harboring a "recklessly dangerous agenda on crime."
A somber male narrator cautions viewers that de Blasio voted to reduce this size of the police force and offered a weak response to the recent motorcycle gang incident on the West Side Highway.
"Bill de Blasio voted to take over 5,000 cops off our streets," the voiceover says, referring to de Blasio's votes to approve the annual city budget during his eight years on the City Council, from 2002 through 2009.
Virtually every Council member votes for the spending plan after a months-long negotiation over each program and service the mayor proposes slashing.
"And de Blasio's response to violent biker gangs? Visit motorcycle clubs and talk to bikers," the narrator continues.
"Bill de Blasio's recklessly dangerous agenda on crime will take us back to this," it cautions, showing footage of graffiti-strewn buildings and subway cars and an overturned police vehicle on Eastern Parkway during the Crown Heights riots.
The widespread violence took place in August of 1991, while de Blasio worked as an aide in the Dinkins administration.
"Don't let Bill de Blasio take New York backwards," the commercial concludes.
The ad does not mention de Blasio's stance on stop-and-frisk, a controversial policing tactic that Lhota endorsees and which de Blasio promises to scale back.
"He has no concept of proactive policing and how critical the NYPD's policies have been to reducing crime to record lows," Lhota spokeswoman Jessica Proud added. "His plans handcuff and demoralize our law enforcement and will jeopardize New Yorker's safety."
She declined to say how much the campaign spent on the ad but called it a "significant buy."
De Blasios spokesman Dan Levitan accused Lhota of "taking a page out of the Tea Party Republican playbook, using a divisive, misleading attack that has already been proven false."
Levitan also slammed Lhota for his role as a a deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, saying, "Lhota is right that we can't go back: we shouldn't return to the days when Republicans like Giuliani used fear tactics to divide New Yorkers against each other."