A campaign mailer attacking Mayor Paul A. Dyster and supporting one of his Democratic primary opponents has surfaced. That's nothing extraordinary in a four-way mayoral race that's beginning to heat up, except that the mailer lists the sender as the New York Republican State Committee.
The mailer includes a photo of Dyster in a Buffalo Bills jersey with the large print, "Is Paul Dyster Really Tough Enough to Lead Our Team?"
The top right corner of the mailer lists the Republican State Committee as the sender, with the committee's address and its legitimate postal code. "Even though it does have our address and our permit number, that was neither authorized or paid for by the New York Republican State Committee, and so we have contacted postal authorities to look into it and give us a report," state Republican spokesman Anthony Casale said Friday.
Dyster said the layout and contents of the mailer are similar to other Republican mailers he's saved from past campaigns.
The reverse side of the mailer targets Dyster, saying he "isn't tough" and "constantly rolls over when people try to stick it to us." It cites quotes by Dyster, without context, in three Buffalo News articles. Statements beside the quotes accuse Dyster of not pressing the New York Power Authority to "do more for the region" and supporting city funding for the proposed $1 million holiday market.
"That's why Niagara Falls needs John Accardo for Mayor," the mailer reads. "Unlike Dyster, John's priority isn't to be nice, it's to be effective."
Dyster and other Democrats previously said they believed Accardo was running a "spoiler" candidacy in hopes of either winning the Democratic primary or appearing on a minor party line in the general election to siphon Democratic votes away from Dyster. That could allow Republican Johnny G. Destino to defeat the incumbent mayor.
Accardo, a Democrat, defeated then-State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte last fall in a Democratic primary. Accardo received 33 percent of the vote and DelMonte, running on a minor line, 20 percent in the general election. Republican John D. Ceretto won the Assembly seat with 46 percent of the vote.
"Whatever denials are currently being used by the state Republican Party, from where I'm sitting, this looks to be confirmation of what we've believed all along," Dyster said. "[This is] one more piece of evidence the Republican Party is seeking to influence elections not just by running candidates in their own party but by seeking surreptitiously to influence the outcomes of Democratic primaries."
City Republican Chairman Robert Krause and Niagara County Chairman Michael J. Norris could not be reached to comment late Friday.
Accardo decried the mailer, and, like Dyster, suggested supporters of State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, helped construct it. Maziarz has denied any meddling in the Democratic primary.
Accardo, a Pine Avenue insurance agent, said the mailer was an attempt by Republicans to prevent him from facing Destino in the general election.
"I am not afraid of Republican dirty tricks nor the threats of any political party," Accardo said in a statement.