Assemblywoman Grace Meng is taking issue with a campaign ad mailed out last week by Assemblyman Rory Lancman as they vie for the Democratic nomination in the 6th Congressional District.
The mailer, paid for by Lancman for Congress, states among other points that Lancman is “the only [candidate] who fought for the Millionaire’s Tax in the Assembly so the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share.”
The Meng campaign on Tuesday morning called the mailing inaccurate, and sent out links containing stories or press releases quoting the assemblywoman as supporting the tax.
Three of them — from the United Federation of Teachers, the Center for Working Families and the Assembly’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus — referred to an appearance Meng made with the caucus and the City Council’s own Black, Latino and Asian Caucus on the steps of City Hall last Oct. 25.
“I am proud to stand with my colleagues to announce avid support of the Millionaire’s Tax,” Meng said at the gathering. “We need to act now by eliminating loopholes, instead of coddling the wealthy at the expense of our hardworking families, children and seniors.”
The fourth links to an op-ed piece on Meng’s Assembly website dated March 9 — 10 days before she and county Democrats announced that she had the party endorsement for the newly created 6th Congressional District.
As of Jan. 1, a three-year-old surcharge on earners making more than $200,000 expired, but a new tax bracket was created for those making $2 million or above.
The new bracket charges them 8.8 percent, less than they were paying under the surcharge, but more than if the surcharge had simply expired.
It is expected to net the state up to $1.9 billion in additional revenue. Those making between $400,000 and $2 million will pay graduated rates ranging from 6.45 to 6.85 percent.
Lancman’s campaign issued a statement defending the ad’s wording and sentiment.
“We’re glad the Meng campaign wants to have a conversation about who has a record of leadership on issues of economic fairness and who doesn’t,” the statement said. “Rory was the only onein this racewho fought for the millionaire’s tax — that’s a fact.”
The campaign referred to an op-ed Lancman wrote for the Daily Newslast January calling for millionaires to pay the tax; plus his demands for the tax publicly on the Fox Business channel, the Huffington Post and the show Capital Tonight.
“Rory even called for tax fairnessback in 2008in the Albany Times-Unionbefore Meng was even elected,” the campaign said.“And he’s been the only one in this raceto address tax fairnessin a significant way over the course of this campaign. If Meng was a leader in the fight for tax fairness, it must have been a top-secret operation.”
Austin Finan, a spokesman for the Meng campaign, wasn’t impressed.
“While Rory Lancman was busy relishing in his self-aggrandizement and self-promotion, Grace Meng was in Albany building bridges with her colleagues and negotiating the agreement that actually delivered real tax relief for struggling, middle-class families in Queens,” he said.
“Assemblywoman Meng is proud to be a part of the team that rolled up their sleeves and got the job done,” he said. “We have enough self-serving, headline-chasing politicians in Washington, DC. What we need are Congress people focused on results, not credit.”
Meng (D-Flushing) and Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) are running in the Democratic primary with City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), and Dr. Robert Mittman, a Bayside physician, for the Democratic nomination.
The primary is on June 26. City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) has the Queens GOP’s backing.