Democratic Senate candidate George Latimer filed a complaint today with the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee over a television ad from Republican candidate Bob Cohen.
The complaint says fair campaign practices were violated “by blatantly misleading viewers into believing ‘regular’ people are offended by his opponent.”
Cohen’s ad uses political operatives, including Sen. Greg Ball’s chief of staff Jim Coleman, as part of a fake man-on-the-street interview to knock Latimer, a state assemblyman.
The ad was the subject of Journal News columnist Phil Reisman’s column yesterday. He wrote, “Anybody with half a brain seeing the man-on-the-street commercial would recognize its theatrical licensing.”
Cohen’s spokesman Bill O’Reilly admitted to Reisman that they used political operatives, saying ““That’s the norm on both sides of the aisle.”
Latimer’s spokesman Mike Murphy said in a statement that “it is obvious that Bob Cohen and his campaign know they cannot win this race based on his positions, so they are resorting to dirty political games instead.
In one of the most competitive Senate races in the state, Latimer and Cohen are vying to succeed retiring Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, D-Mamaroneck.
In 2010, Cohen narrowly lost to Oppenheimer, and Cohen ironically won a complaint against Oppenheimer for using political operatives for an attack ad.
There was no immediate comment from Cohen’s campaign about today’s complaint.
Updated: O’Reilly responded, “The Fair Campaign Practices Board prohibits candidates from leaking complaints to the press. Mr. Latimer clearly knows that, so he must also know that his charges are baseless, political posturing. We, on the other hand, will abide by the rules of the Fair Campaign Practices Board by remaining mum about any objections we will be filing. We play by the rules.”