In the first federal election after the Newtown shootings, the issue of gun reform and alliance with the NRA may well have turned the congressional primary last week in Illinois. Here in New York State, we are about to have what activists against gun reform are calling the first barometer on the issue since Governor Andrew Cuomo signed new restrictions on guns and ammunition into law.
The race for highway superintendent -- in the town of Brookhaven, in Suffolk County, out on eastern Long Island -- features Brookhaven Councilwoman Kathleen Walsh against Assemblyman Dan Losquadro. In theory, it concerns matters like snow plowing. On the ground, it has become a referendum on gun policy. As a Republican member of the legislature, Losquadro voted for the Cuomo gun reform bill. Since then, people who object to that vote have flooded his Facebook page with comments railing against him as a traitor. They've also got a page going called "Dan Losquadro Is Dishonest." (Update: To be clear, the Facebook page admin disavows the shooting video above.)
The vote happens tomorrow. Newsday notes that turnout for the special election could be low enough that any given special interest could swing the outcome.
Up top, a YouTube clip of people shooting up a Dan Losquadro campaign sign. UPDATE: After I posted this, the owner of the YouTube clip made it private -- his explanation is in the comments. After the jump, a flyer sent to us by Michael Hershkowitz (through our Facebook inbox).
Wednesday update: Losquadro wins.
Kathleen Walsh is a former Republican now running (pdf) on the Independence Party and Democratic Party lines. As with Losquadro, local Newsday describes Walsh as a supporter of Second Amendment rights. That seems to be part of the pitch against her in this flyer. Hershkowitz writes: "[I]t's a mystery why the full political machine is in effect for this relatively small special election. I'm certainly sick of the daily robocalls, flyers and commercials."