John Katko, the Republican challenger in the race for New York’s 24th congressional district has attacked the incumbent, Dan Maffei, claiming that he does not live in the district by citing as proof that his daughter was born in a Washington D.C. hospital — while Congress was in session.
He also pointed to the fact that Maffei’s townhouse in Alexandria, Virginia where he lives while Congress is in session cost much more than his home in Syracuse as further evidence that Maffei’s loyalties lie with D.C. and not his central New York district. He is, of course counting on people being unaware of the fact that real estate prices in Alexandria are more than four times those in Syracuse. In Syracuse the median price is $113,000 while in Alexandria the median is $465,000.
Maffei was understandably upset at having his family dragged into the campaign. Shortly after Katko made his comments, Maffei called an open air press conference at Clinton Square in Syracuse to respond to the claims.
“If Mr. Katko wants to criticize me and say that I’m not doing a good job for one reason or another,that’s fine.” Maffei said, “But let me make this clear: my wife and my daughter have no place in this campaign. They should not be mentioned. Period.”
“I cited the fact that he bought a house in Washington, DC. Public record. The fact that his wife works in Washington, DC is public record. And the fact that his child was born there was a public record, because that was in a release that he put out,” Katko said, defending his comments.
In truth Maffei’s wife, Abby has worked for CARE since September of 2009 in several locations, including from the family home in Syracuse.
Backed into a corner on the subject, Katko then claimed that Maffei has had staffers harassing his family at public events by video recording them, attempting to turn the tables on the congressman.
“Everywhere we go, Dan Maffei has his staffers with a camera in my face. In my wife’s face. In my children’s faces,” he claimed.
Maffei’s aides said that the so-called video tracker was not employed by the congressman’s campaign, admitting that the state Democratic Party may have hired him. They also noted that Maffei has been subjected to similar actions by either Katko or the state Republican Party.
Watch Maffei’s reaction in the video below.