Democrats: Yorktown campaign mailer is racist

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A controversial campaign mailer sent out by Yorktown Republicans is sparking outrage among local Democratic officials and some neighbors.

The ad depicts former Town Supervisor Susan Siegel as a marionette puppet master pulling the strings of three Democratic candidates running for local offices. The candidates are Jewish, African-American and Indian.

The ad alleges the so-called "frightful four" would make Yorktown a sanctuary town for illegal immigrants. The back of the flyer shows the all-white male Republican ticket, with the phrase "standing up for taxpayers..never taking a knee."

Democrat Reginald Lafayette heads the Westchester County Board of Elections. He says the ad is racist and harkens back to hangings in the Deep South.

"Anytime you put a rope…and somebody at the other end of it, it's a bad message. It smacks of racism,” he says.

Yorktown's Republican Supervisor Michael Grace disputes that claim, saying the flyer is not at all racist.

"Nothing implies racism in it. There is nothing about it that's racist. You have to really actually go to a complete other stretch for it,” he says.

News 12 spent the day in Yorktown asking people what they thought of the ad and could not find one person who supported it.

The ad was paid for by the New York Republican State Committee. Jessica Proud, a spokesperson for the committee, defended the ad in a statement to News 12. "The only thing that demands an explanation is why Illan Gilbert, Alice Roker and Vishnu Patel support a sanctuary policy that every law enforcement agency--including the Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association--vehemently opposes for putting people's safety at risk by protecting illegal immigrants who commit a crime. This is nothing more than an attempt to distract voters from their support of this crazy policy," says Proud. 

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