FIGHTING FOR AIR — Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Brindisi accuses Spectrum cable on Thursday of “censoring” his campaign. Spectrum pulled Brindisi ads from their air Tuesday, then agreed to run the ads Thursday. Brindisi, of Utica, is currently a state Assemblyman and is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep Claudia L. Tenney, R-New Hartford, in the race for the 22nd District. (Sentinel photo by Mac Bullock)

Brindisi, Tenney clash on Spectrum

Published Sep 7, 2018 at 4:02pm

NEW HARTFORD — Spectrum cable said Thursday that they will run Anthony Brindisi’s campaign ads, only an hour after the Democrat held a press conference accusing the company of “censorship” for the second time this summer.

Brindisi, of Utica and currently a state Assemblyman, is challenging incumbent Republican Congresswoman Claudia L. Tenney in the race for the 22nd District.

Brindisi said Thursday that his camp had purchased ad space on Spectrum channels sometime last week, and that the company had accepted the buy. By 3 p.m. on Tuesday, he said, his ads were pulled from the air with no explanation given.

In the press conference, Brindisi alleged that the move violated law, and said lawyers from his campaign had contacted the Federal Communications Commission.

An hour or so later, a Spectrum spokeswoman responded. “We told him yesterday (Wednesday) that Spectrum will run the ads and we will,” the brief statement read.

“I’m pleased that they have decided to follow the law and stop censoring my campaign,” Brindisi said of the decision.

Spectrum and the Brindisi campaign had a similar spat early last month, when the cable provider refused to air an ad critical of its pay rates, telling the New York Times that the commercial did not meet the company’s criteria. Then, too, Spectrum reversed course after Brindisi said his campaign lawyers contacted the FCC.

In both cases, Brindisi accused the cable provider of having “chosen a horse in this race.”

“(Tenney) has rewarded them with tax breaks, and they have poured thousands of dollars into her campaign,” he said in Thursday’s press conference.

Tenney campaign manager Raychel Renna has said that Brindisi “isn’t being honest” in accusing Spectrum of playing favorites.

“Democrats rule Albany with an iron fist, and it was on Brindisi and (Gov. Andrew) Cuomo’s watch that the Charter (Spectrum) merger was approved for upstate New York,” Renna said in a statement ahead of Thursday’s presser.

“Brindisi is just trying to distract voters from the $14,000 he took from (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi, and that he was recruited by (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer to run for Congress so they could impeach Donald Trump,” the campaign manager continued.

Federal Election Commission records do show that Spectrum’s political action committee made two $2,500 donations to Tenney’s campaign in 2017.

FEC records also indicate that the Brindisi campaign received two $5,000 contributions from Pelosi’s political action committee and two from her campaign last year.