Lazio begins pricey ad campaign for gov

By Michael Gormley-Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. | Republican Rick Lazio’s statewide TV ad now airing frames a major question in the campaign for governor: Is it worse to have been a Wall Street lobbyist making more than $1 million, as Mr. Lazio did; or to have been a public official collecting millions in campaign donations from lobbyists, as Democratic candidate Andrew M. Cuomo has?

Mr. Lazio’s ad that began airing Wednesday is the biggest and most expensive effort yet in his underfunded, underdog quest to be New York’s governor. The TV campaign on cable and during news programs doesn’t mention that before Mr. Lazio faces Mr. Cuomo, the Republican must win a Sept. 14 primary against Buffalo millionaire businessman Carl Paladino, who is gaining on Mr. Lazio in polls.

“Special interests rule Albany, and it’s Andrew Cuomo’s world,” Mr. Lazio says in the ad about the Democratic attorney general. The ad flashes the faces of other Democrats snared in scandals, including former Comptroller Alan Hevesi and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who both resigned.

“And our middle class keeps suffering,” Mr. Lazio says, looking comfortable and earnest in front of the camera. “It’s got to stop, and Andrew Cuomo can’t do it. I can. He won’t. I will.

“Andrew Cuomo can’t change Albany, because Andrew Cuomo is Albany,” says Mr. Lazio, a former congressman who represented Long Island.

The statewide campaign ad buy will cost Mr. Lazio $200,000, a third of his entire campaign cash as of the latest filings earlier this month.

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