Judging Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler in the final days of their bitter primary campaign – New York Daily News

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We’re proud to back Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler, both effective Manhattan congressmen and influential committee chairs, over their rival, who has never held public office, in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. But the last days of the fierce battle leave us disturbed by the behavior of some of the incumbents.

Maloney sends reams of taxpayer-funded mail to voters in violation of the spirit of House rules, effectively converting a privilege called “postage” into a campaign tactic. Members of Congress are of course allowed to use government money to send letters to the public they represent, but to prevent this from opening a loophole at the heart of campaigns, there is a pre-primary blackout period. of 60 days – which in New York began on June 24 – limiting these communications to less than 500 people at a time.

As gothamist exposed, Maloney’s office sent letter after letter after letter — 53 different ones — to batches of up to 499 constituents each reminding them of various priorities and accomplishments. This probably represents more than 20,000 unsolicited communications that arrive in mailboxes. Many seem targeted, like a bill celebrating the Armenian Genocide Education Act that just arrived to a voter whose name sounds Armenian (but, oops, it actually doesn’t).

Nadler didn’t play this overly clever trick. That doesn’t mean his campaign’s hands are clean.

One of the keys to maintaining honest outside spending is to ensure that those who spend independently for or against a candidate are not coordinating their messaging with the campaign itself. While it’s easy enough to repeat public talking points, more detailed coordination allows outside groups to effectively become extensions of the electoral operation, a big no-no.

A limit switch is “red boxing” whereby a campaign puts the message it wants allegedly uncoordinated groups to use in a red box on their website. Nadler’s campaign is now using the tactic to spreading lines of attack on Maloney’s anti-vaccine efforts for years.

We know politics is not a beanbag, but the public should be careful when the rules are broken.

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