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Democratic Mailer Raises Hackles Of Niskayuna GOP Candidates

Mailers sent out by the town Democratic Committee in Niskayuna, New York have raised the ire of the GOP town supervisor candidate.

The political mailing has jarred the Schenectady County town. Oversize postcards sent to local residents liken candidate for Niskayuna Town Supervisor Yasmine Syed  to Alex Jones, the controversial proprietor of conspiracy website infowars.com.

An incredulous Syed issued a press release Monday in response, branding the cards "hate mail."    "I categorically reject everything that the Niskayuna Democratic Committee is asserting."

In addition to Jones, the fliers depict right-wing media personalities Rush Limbaugh and Steve Bannon with the caption “The things we value most are under attack in Washington, and they are under attack in Niskayuna.” The card says the Republicans' Facebook page features racist, anti-semitic material and disparages Muslims. Syed responds "My father is Muslim, my mother is of Jewish Heritage. She's a Christian."

The flip side of the mailer says Syed and Town Board candidates Tom McGarry and Anthony Simone are “too extreme for Niskayuna” while alleging the three Republicans shared 37 various news stories and promote Jones' belief that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, and embrace Limbaugh's stance as a "climate change denier."   Again, Syed:   "I don't have admin rights to the Facebook page. I didn't personally share anything that they're asserting that I shared, or by of, you know, tacitly agreeing with any of those shock-jock commentator. Don't listen to those people, don't agree with what they have to say. Never have, never will."

In her statement, posted below, Syed says as a political newcomer, she "was told to expect that my opponents would engage in political mudslinging, but this is beyond the pale, even for career politicians."  "And no matter how low they go, I'm going to stick to the issues."

Incumbent Town Supervisor Joe Landry could not be reached for comment.  In addition to his post as Niskayuna supervisor, Landry serves as the Schenectady County Legislature attorney and is chairman of the county Democrats.

The Niskayuna Democratic Committee did answer a request for comment by email, saying "The mailer in question doesn’t call the candidates racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim as the GOP asserts. It says the Niskayuna Republican Committee shared posts from Breitbart News — a website which features racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim material and is run by Steve Bannon. 

The Niskayuna Republicans have shared a total of thirty-seven posts from Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, and Breitbart news - the mouth pieces of the Alt-Right. We, as Democrats, denounce these outlets and the ideologies they espouse.  By sharing these posts, the Niskayuna GOP is legitimizing these outlets and the message they deliver."

Election day is Nov. 7th.

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Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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