A Queens Democrat has sent out mailings illustrated with a swastika that label his rival for an open Assembly seat as an "extremist" who is "out of touch with our community's values." Just days before a special election for a northeastern Queens seat, former Councilman David Weprin attacked Republican and Conservative party candidate Bob Friedrich with literature showing the Nazi symbol and text accusing his foe of not taking a tough enough stance against hate crimes.

One side of the ad shows police officers, crime scene tape, and a photoshopped swastika with the text: "Extreme Conservative Bob Friedrich Doesn't Think Hate Crimes Deserve Special Punishment." Friedrich—who is Jewish—called the mailing "repugnant" and "offensive to all people." He told the Post: "Hateful campaign tactics like this, using Nazi propaganda with a swastika, really is offensive ... It goes beyond anything that I have ever seen in a campaign. I was sickened to my stomach when I saw it."

Weprin— who is also Jewish—hasn't commented on the mailers. But his campaign manager, Corey Bearak, confirmed they were sent out by the campaign. In a statement to the Daily News, Bearak said illustrating the ads with a swastika shouldn't be considered offensive:


"It's not offensive to make sure people know just home extreme Republican-Conservative Bob Friedrich is; this extremist opposes hate crimes legislation—it's offensive that Republican Bob Friedrich actually opposes hate crimes legislation."