It turns out the publication of e-mails between Sam Hoyt and his girlfriend were just the opening salvo fired against him by his political opponents.
Responsible New York -- the Tom Golisano-funded, Steve Pigeon-managed political cabal -- has sent a series of direct mail flyers to voters in Hoyt's district taking the incumbent to task. With titles like "After 16 Years, It's Very Clear ... 'Albany Sam Hoyt' Is All Frosting and No Cake."
The flyers fall within the realm of normal attack ads loosely based on issues.
This week, his opponents got a lot nastier.
A flier went out and a Web site went up, under the banner of Mothers and Fathers Demanding Answers. A push poll was conducted. Television advertising was booked.
The subject: Hoyt's affairs. Excerpts of purported e-mails between Hoyt and his lover were published in the flyer, whose format is similar to the anti-Hoyt pieces produced by Responsible New York. The Web site includes e-mail links to Hoyt's campaign seeking responses to inflammatory questions.
These latest tactics make this the most in-the-gutter campaign I've seen in my 30 years of reporting.
Those behind it have taken care to not leave footprints.The Web site is registered through a service in Australia. The return address on the flyer from Mothers and Fathers is a direct mail service in Long Island City. The owner refuses to say who paid the bill.
But the perpetrators slipped up. The attack flyer from Mothers and Fathers uses the same bulk mail permit as ... Responsible New York.
I asked him what he knows about Mothers and Fathers Demanding Answers.
"I'm not going to comment," Pigeon said. "I'm sure they will file their independent committee status, if it's not filed already."
Gee, Steve, how do you know they're required to do so?
"I would assume, I don't know that they do."
Pigeon then resorted to the mantra he repeated throughout the balance of the interview.
"Everything we're doing is within the law."
"We're not coordinating with the [Barbra] Kavanaugh campaign."
How does he explain Mothers and Fathers using the same bulk mail permit as Responsible New York?
"Independent committees can work together under the law."
So, you're working with them, right?
"I think it will all come out in the reports."
Is this the dirtiest campaign he's been involved in?
"I don't think this one is dirty."
Pigeon went to lengths to vent his outrage over reports that Hoyt had sex with a member of the Assembly staff. This is the same Steve Pigeon who has been an unwavering loyalist to Bill and Hillary Clinton through thick and thin, including the Big Dog's sexual escapades with intern Monica Lewinsky.
I guess you could say Pigeon is practicing situational ethics. Among other things.