Super PACs target AOC-backed NY candidates who disappoint the police

Two political action committees funded by New York business interests are waging an all-out $1 million counteroffensive to defeat the candidates for the “Defund the Police” state assembly running in Tuesday’s Democratic primary .

The related Super PACs — Common Sense New Yorkers and Voters of New York — have sent out mailers attacking left-wing candidates as soft on crime and are participating in an 11-hour effort to “get the vote out” through automatic Calls, texts and other promotions, said Jeff Leb, the treasurer of both groups.

“We are conducting targeted independent campaigns against socialist candidates who have publicly and privately stated that they want to disappoint the police,” Leb said.

“We’ve conducted multiple polls that confirm that across NYC and NYS, regardless of neighborhood or borough, public safety is the number one concern of Democratic voters,” he added.

The candidates targeted by the groups are supported by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/Queens), the left-wing Working Families Party and the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Super Pac Defund the police
The Super PACs target candidates who support police defunding.
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Leb said his groups would run a similar campaign to empower safety-conscious candidates in the state Senate primary in August.

At least three mailers are targeting insurgent Jonathan Soto – a former AOC staffer backed by the Socialist Congresswoman and the WFP – who is up against veteran incumbent Michael Benedetto in the Bronx.

“Don’t vote for Jonathan Soto. He’s too extreme for the Bronx,” said one mailer, describing the Defund challenger as a “dangerous, ruthless socialist.”

A mailer targets former AOC employee Jonathan Soto, whom the PAC calls “too extreme”.
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The PACs have also placed assault ads against insurgent Jessica Altagracia Woolford, who is running against veteran Congressman Jeffrey Dinowitz in Northwest Bronx Assembly District 81, covering Riverdale, Kingsbridge Heights, Norwood and Woodlawn; and Samy Nemir Olivares, who is attempting to unseat incumbent Erik Dilan in Brooklyn’s District 54, which covers Bushwick and Cypress Hills.

Benedetto, who is not affiliated with the independent groups, welcomed their campaign on Sunday.

“You point out precisely that my opponent wants to disappoint the police. I’m not for it. I happen to be in the same political camp as Joe Biden,” said Benedetto, who received a donation from the New York State Troopers PAC.

super pac defund the police
The groups claim that public safety is the number one issue for New York voters.
Capitol Advice

“You recognize [Soto] is a radical who doesn’t keep up with the mainstream. We don’t want that.”

Soto tried to turn the tables on Sunday by saying Benedetto is being backed by “Trump Republicans” who are sending out attack mailers “to distract voters from what is actually being defunded, our schools!”

Mayor Eric Adams has supported the more moderate Benedetto and donated to his campaign in the ongoing proxy war with Ocasio-Cortez for leadership of the New York Democratic Party.

Super Pacs disappoint the police
The groups are also targeting Jessica Altagracia Woolford, who is running for state assembly in the Bronx.
Capitol Advice

Adams-affiliated Striving for a Better New York gave Benedetto $4,700 in work in mid-June, state record-breaking BOE shows.

The AOC-backed Courage to Change PAC, meanwhile, donated $4,700 to Soto and cut four-digit checks to seven other left-wing candidates in recent weeks, including challengers running against incumbents Dilan, Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster) and Nikki Lucas (D-Ulster) competed. Brooklyn) in the State Assembly, records show.

Dilan’s father is former longtime Brooklyn State Sen. Martin Dilan, who lost a primary to DSA-backed Julia Salazar in 2018.

The younger Dilan received a check of his own for $4,700 from AJW Properties Management and $2,000 from a PAC associated with state realtors, in addition to at least $13,000 in donations from other labor and trade groups in recent weeks.

As for the two pro-law-and-order super PACs, campaign finance records show that New York voters have received four real estate and financial interest donations totaling $250,000 in recent weeks .

Silverstein Properties donated $50,000, while Thomas Tuft, former chairman of the Global Capital Markets Group at Goldman Sachs, contributed $25,000. Anel Holding Group and Broadwest Group 3 LLC contributed $100,000 and $75,000, respectively, according to campaign finance documents.

More than $100,000 of those donations went to just two companies — Live Media Productions LLC in Lower Manhattan and Albany Marketing Solutions, just blocks from the state capitol, according to campaign records.

Both companies have also received dozens of similar-sized payments from Common Sense New York in recent days, records show.

Among the donors to this group are a litany of limited liability companies representing real estate and financial interests. Family business United American Land donated $100,000. Venture capitalist Lisa Blau gave $50,000, according to records.

The insurance industry and other trade groups have slapped $6,000 on Cahill, the chair of the assembly’s Insurance Committee, while he resists a challenge from the DSA and WFP-backed Sarahan Shrestha.

Shrestha also received $4,700 from the AOC-backed PAC on June 24, the records say. Super PACs target AOC-backed NY candidates who disappoint the police


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