Republican New York state senate candidate Juan D. Reyes III of Queens has distributed a harsh gay-bashing mailer assailing his primary opponent, City Councilman Eric Ulrich, as a "gay-friendly" politician who has flip-flopped on his conservatism. Reyes is a former aide to Mayor Rudy Giuliani and currently a partner at the law firm Reed Smith. In the lengthy mailer, Reyes attacks Ulrich's "liberal voting record," says that Ulrich cozied up to liberals like City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who's openly gay, and writes in bold print: "Ulrich voted for gay marriage."
Here's a portion of the mailer, sent just before Thursday's primary vote (italics in original):
Ulrich and his wife became known as frequent dinner companions of an openly gay Democrat councilman and his husband. No one cared about that.
Ulrich hired an openly gay chief of staff for his City Council office, as well as at least one other gay staffer.
In painting Reyes as a "real conservative," the mailer also mentioned Ulrich's comment to New York in 2009 when the 27-year-old said, "Republicans aren't all religious fundamentalists from Alabama; some of us are just normal."
Ulrich called the mailer “disgraceful.” Meanwhile a campaign consultant for Reyes said that the mailing doesn't bash gays; rather, it's intended to show that Ulrich is a flip-flopper.
The news follows reports that New York Senator Mark Grisanti was targeted with an anti-gay mailing after voting for gay marriage last year. Buffalo-based politician Matthew Ricchiazzi has claimed credit for the ad, which uses gay porn images, and described it as "brilliant." He told the Daily News, “It equates the work of politicians with the work of prostitutes, and makes the argument that Grisanti has been selling his vote to the highest bidder."
The Human Rights Campaign reports that yet another senate candidate, Republican Neil Di Carlo, circulated a flyer attacking twelve-term Republican senator Stephen Saland of New York's 41st District for voting in favor of New York's Marriage Equality Act. The photoshopped image shows Saland holding hands with Mayor Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo, with a text bubble for Saland that reads "My Two Daddies!"