Coming soon to a television near you will be Republican Party television ads promoting U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato -- and paid for by the state Democratic Party.
In a unusual tactic even for New York politics, the Democrats are hoping to expose what they have charged is the geographic divisiveness campaign the GOP has employed as part of its efforts to re-elect D'Amato.
The Republicans last week began airing their so-called "Jaws" ad, which features sharks swimming up from New York City as an announcer warns of liberal downstaters coming to raise taxes and spending. But the ad, which flashes photographs of New York City skyscrapers, is not showing on any television stations south of Westchester County.
Meanwhile, a GOP ad featuring a shtick routine by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former mayor Ed Koch as they promote D'Amato is not being shown upstate.
So the Democrats will begin showing those ads in places where they say Republicans would not dare run them. They note that while the Republicans are campaigning as anti-liberals upstate, they are -- by using the left-of-center politicians Koch and Giuliani in the one advertisement -- embracing liberals to New York City voters.
"By showing these ads around the entire state, the Democratic Party is performing a public service to New York's working families by exposing the Republicans' plan to pit downstaters against upstaters, cities against towns and neighbors against neighbors," said Judith Hope, the Democratic Party chairwoman.
D'Amato is running against Brooklyn Rep. Charles Schumer.
"If the Republicans are going to talk out of both sides of their mouths, it is critical that all New Yorkers hear the truly divisive, destructive message that they are spreading," Ms. Hope added.
Democrats believe running the Giuliani and Koch ads upstate won't help Republicans; they figure upstaters don't have high opinions of the two, especially Koch, who mocked the lifestyles of upstaters in a 1982 magazine interview that hurt him in his gubernatorial primary campaign that year against former Governor Mario Cuomo.
The GOP ads to be paid for by the Democrats will run as originally produced, except with an introduction that reads: "The ad Al D'Amato does not want you to see."