Former Rudy Giuliani aide Juan Reyes sends mailing blasting primary opponent, Councilman Eric Ulrich, for having dinner with gay friends
Mailer also criticizes Ulrich for hiring an openly gay chief of staff. Ulrich: Missive 'disgraceful'
By Lisa L. Colangelo And Glenn Blain / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 11:10 PM
Mariela Lombard for New York Daily News
Queens Republican Juan Reyes blasted his Republican primary opponent,
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (pictured), for having dinner with gay
friends and employing a gay chief of staff.
Two GOP primaries for the state Senate — including a hotly contested race in Queens — have sunk into the gutter with gay-baiting tactics.
Queens Republican Juan Reyes, a former aide to Mayor Rudy Giuliani, sent a mailing this week blasting his “gay-friendly” primary opponent, City Councilman Eric Ulrich, for having dinner with an “openly gay Democratic councilman and his husband.” The reference was to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a fellow member of the Queens delegation.
The mailer did not stop there, however. “Ulrich hired an openly gay chief of staff for his City Council office as well as at least one other gay staffer,” it stated.
Ulrich, who has the backing of Senate GOP leaders in Thursday’s primary, called the missive “disgraceful.”
The mailer targeting Ulrich comes on the heels of a graphic, anti-gay flyer circulated this week in the Buffalo-area district of Republican state Sen. Mark Grisanti.
The flyer, distributed via email and first reported by Politico, uses photographs from a gay porn company to ask: “How far will a politician go to get in your pant$?” It added that “For his Gay Marriage Vote, Mark Grisanti received over $750,000. Sometimes they’re whore$.”
Grisanti, who is being challenged by conservative Republican Kevin Stocker in Thursday’s primary, was one of four GOP senators to vote in favor of legalizing gay marriage last year, allowing the historic measure to pass. The Human Rights Campaign’s Fred Sainz said both mailings “are beyond offensive.”
“They are so patently ridiculous they have no place in a modern day election,” he said, adding that “these chuckleheads are campaigning for the Fred Flintstone award.”
Reyes’ campaign consultant Gerry O’Brien insisted the mailing did not qualify as gay-bashing. Instead, he said it was intended to show Ulrich as a flip-flopper.
A flyer uses photographs from a gay porn company to slam Buffalo-are state Sen. Mark Grisanti.
Matthew Ricchiazzi, a one-time Buffalo mayoral candidate who circulated the anti-Grisanti flyer using his email account, defended the political handiwork as “brilliant.” He said the mailing had little to do with gay marriage, which he claimed to support. “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,” Ricchiazzi said in an email to the Daily News.
“Indeed, any prostitute can do the work of a New York State senator, and most can do it better,” he added.
Grisanti’s campaign shrugged off the attack. “Mark Grisanti is focused on the issue most important to voters in the 60th Senate District — creating jobs and getting our economy back on track,” said Grisanti campaign spokesman Doug Curella.