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Literature for Tom Suozzi and Mazi Pilip, as well as ‘attack ad’ mailers against Suozzi, has piled up. (Credit: Janet Burns)

It’s Mailer Madness In Congressional District 3

A few weeks before the 2022 mid-term election, one of my colleagues here at Anton Media Group who lives in U.S. Congressional District NY-03 stopped by my desk to show me a mailer he’d gotten promoting George Santos, a smiling and presentable young man in a suit who neither of us knew much about. I mused over the probable cost of the smooth half-page matte flyer, and made a mental note to learn more about Santos, but got caught up with other matters of hyperlocal journalism and never got around to digging into the candidate (partly assuming, though quite wrongly as it turns out, that lots of other journalists with bigger platforms than mine were combing over both candidates’ résumés).

As we approach special election day and the choice to fill Santos’ forcedly vacated seat with either its prior occupant, former NY-03 Rep. and former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, or with current Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip, the situation is somewhat different than in 2022: while neither candidate has been particularly talkative on the campaign trail, we’re all pretty familiar with Suozzi and Pilip, both of whom have already held public office, and the issues where they overlap or don’t.

Nevertheless, I’ve learned my lesson about paying attention to what’s in the mail, so when my coworker offered once again to share some of his recent political mail, I jumped at the chance, and received a thick stack of varying samples in return. Here’s a quick review of the lit hitting mailboxes during this closely watched special election.

Supporting Suozzi

In total, the batch of flyers and other campaign literature collected by a U.S. Congressional District NY-03 registered voter employed at Anton Media Group contained seven items in support of former Rep. Tom Suozzi, often emphasizing a need to depart from partisan politics, for money to support police and border security, and praising his prior record locally and in congress as a moderate Democrat. They include a large door-hanger, several cardstock flyers, a few lighter-weight fold-out leaflets, and a New Year’s postcard featuring a portrait of Suozzi’s family.

Campaign materials for NY-03 candidate Tom Suozzi, including a large door-hanger, several cardstock flyers, a few fold-out leaflets, and a New Year’s family portrait-style postcard, arranged next to a six-inch ruler for scale. Four of the mailers were paid for by the New York State Democratic Committee; two were paid for by House Majority Pac (HMP); the door-hanger was paid for by Workers Vote.

Four of the mailers were paid for the the New York State Democratic Committee, the governing body of the New York State Democratic Party.

Two mailers were paid for by House Majority Pac, “the only Super PAC focused exclusively on electing Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives,” according to their website.
The door-hanger was paid for by Workers Vote, “an independent expenditure PAC that’s been registered with the Federal Election Commission since 2020, when it raised over $22.3 million and played a critical role in defeating Donald Trump,” according to their website.

Supporting Pilip

In total, the stack of materials from my coworker yielded six pieces of campaign literature that were directly supportive of Legislator Mazi Pilip for the NY-03 seat, though half of them also substantially feature images and criticsm of Tom Suozzi, as well as other Democrats. The flyers also promote Pilip’s tenure as a county legislator and plans if elected, and frequently make mention of her term of service in Israel’s armed forces as well as her large family.

Four of the mailers were paid for by New York Republican Federal Campaign Committee, a PAC registered in Albany that doesn’t have much of a web presence.

Two of the mailers were paid for by WFW Action Fund, Inc., “[a] SuperPAC and related entities [that’s] raised over $17 million to support GOP women, engaging in some of the cycle’s most contested races,” according to their website.

Campaign materials for NY-03 candidate Mazi Pilip, two half-page matte cardstock flyers and four full-page cardstock flyers. The top four mailers in this photo were paid for by New York Republican Federal Campaign Committee; the bottom two flyers were paid for by WFW Action Fund, Inc.

Attacking Suozzi

Four of the items my coworker shared with me would best be described as ‘attack ads’ in the form of full-page, double-sided, matte cardstock mailers.

One depicts Suozzi as the puppet of Governor Kathy Hochul. Another says that he and New York City Mayor Eric Adams are two of a kind (like in poker), connecting both men to crises of immigration and to the never-realized movement to defund police forces. A third flyer echoes these two points with regard to Suozzi (while simultaneously quoting Mayor Adams saying that migrants will “destroy” NYC).

Attack ads printed on full-page matte cardstock criticizing Tom Suozzi, all paid for by Congressional Leadership Fund.

The fourth flyer again addresses the issue of immigration, and features a greyscale image of a schoolbus with the flags of Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador hung on it driving past a sign that reads “Tom Suozzi Welcomes You to Nassau County.”

All four were paid for by the Congressional Leadership Fund, “The super PAC dedicated to electing Republicans to the House of Representatives,” according to their website.

Get Out The Vote

Charmingly enough, the stack of mail also contained two postcards simply encouraging NY-03 residents to get out and vote (for anyone), which had hand-written addresses and full-length messages on the back.

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