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Astorino Goes Nuclear With 'Daisy' Ad Against Cuomo

Republican Rob Astorino talks to news reporters outside the U.S. District Court in White Plains today.
Republican Rob Astorino talks to news reporters outside the U.S. District Court in White Plains today.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Claiming that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to "run out the clock'' and get re-elected before being indicted for obstruction of justice, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said he's rolling out a campaign ad to grab voters' attention before Nov. 4.

Astorino, standing before the federal courthouse in White Plains, said the newest ad -- which replays part of Lyndon Johnson's famous "Daisy" ad used to defeat Republican Barry Goldwater 50 years ago -- will air for one day Tuesday -- five weeks before Election Day.

"Running out the clock does not mean we don't have corruption in the state,'' Astorino told reporters during a news conference today.

The fact that Democrat Cuomo refuses to face Astorino in a televised debate means "he's deathly afraid'' of answering questions about a federal corruption probe, according to the GOP candidate. "We're not afraid of anything."

"The fact that people don't even know the Moreland Commission is a scandal,'' Astorino said of the state ethics board abruptly dismantled by Cuomo.

"It's sickening what's going on in Albany now,'' the county executive said. "If it weren't for Preet Bharara from the U.S. Attorney's office, we would never know about this...."

Astorino's political commercial, titled "Jail," is aimed at raising public awareness of Bharara's investigation into the Cuomo Administration that Astorino predicts will results in the governor's imprisonment. Cuomo campaign officials were not available for comment.

"Jail" will air statewide Tuesday in honor of LBJ's original "Daisy" TV spot, according to Jessica Proud, Astorino's campaign spokeswoman. "This is not an ad you need to see twice," Proud said.

"Jail" employs scenes and techniques used by the "Daisy" creator in the memorable 1964 television commercial.

Like the "Daisy" ad, "Jail" opens with a young girl in a field picking petals from a daisy with the sound of seagulls in the background. After the girl counts the number of petals plucked -- "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 6, 6. . ." -- an ominous male voiceover begins counting -- "10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5. . ." and the sound of a missile launch begins.

As the camera zooms into one the girl's pupils, a mushroom cloud erupts -- taking over the TV screen. Unlike the "Daisy" spot, the mushroom cloud in Astorino's ad morphs into a profile photo of Cuomo, and the words: "These are the stakes. Do we re-elect a governor who may end up in jail?"

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