Rick Lazio’s History of Fearmongering with ‘Misinformation’ on Health-Care Reform. We Dig Up a Memo.


By Scott Greenberg

Gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio’s “Stop Obamacare” campaign sounds suspiciously like one of his fearmongering strategies from his days in Congress.

The Voice dug up an internal Lazio strategy memo from his first House re-election campaign, in 1994, that says health-care reform “would be a great issue to use misinformation against targeted groups to frighten them.”

So why should voters care how Lazio slung mud during his years in Congress and in his unsuccessful run against Hillary Clinton for a Senate seat in 2000? Maybe it’s because old habits — like his performance as Wall Street’s creature before the 2008 meltdown — die hard.

After being read the 1994 memo, Lazio spokesman Barney Keller said he would get back to the Voice but did not return follow-up calls.

Lazio is demanding that Attorney General Andy Cuomo (his likely rival for governor) challenge the constitutionality of Obama’s health bill — though virtually all legal scholars say such a lawsuit would be fruitless.

The Long Island Republican’s homepage features a juxtaposition of Andrew Cuomo and Barack Obama with “STOP OBAMACARE” superimposed between the two.

But Lazio’s attempt to tie Cuomo to Obama’s plan has gained little traction. (The attorney general has played no role in national health-care legislation.)

Health-care reform was a major issue in 1992, when Lazio unseated Democrat Tom Downey for a congressional seat. A Lazio staff memo produced that year under campaign manager Phil Boyle (now a NY State assemblyman) listed “How to pay for National Health Insurance” under “ISSUES TO ATTACK.”

During the 2000 Senate campaign, Lazio branded HillaryCare “an abysmal disaster.” But so was his campaign, which he launched by falling down on opening day in front of a big crowd and busting his lip. Here’s a reminder from the Daily Show:

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