Ithaca, N.Y. — As the 2014 Congressional elections draw closer, Rep. Tom Reed has set up a website that calls his Democratic challenger an “Extreme Ithaca Liberal.”

Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson, D-Dryden, is running against Reed in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, which includes Ithaca.

Rep. Reed’s new website calls his Democratic challenger Martha Robertson an “extreme Ithaca liberal”
Rep. Reed’s new website calls his Democratic challenger Martha Robertson an “extreme Ithaca liberal”

Reed is out to a fundraising lead — though one that’s less wide than many political observers expected, according to the Buffalo News.

A non-partisan evaluator of Congressional races says the district “leans Republican,” the Elmira Star Gazette reported Friday.

The evaluator, the Cook Political Report, also highlighted the “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” line used by Reed against Robertson, according to the Elmira newspaper.

“It’s rare for an incumbent to jab a town in their own district, but in this case, it’s a useful tactic to define Robertson in the more culturally conservative majority of the district,” the Cook Report said, according to the Star Gazette.

Related: Looking at Tom Reed’s campaign expenditures

Related: Looking at Martha Robertson’s campaign expenditures

On Wednesday, Reed’s Facebook page promoted the website, ExtremeIthacaLiberal.com, which calls Robertson “just another extreme Ithaca liberal pushing her extremist agenda on Western New York.”

The website shows Robertson’s head placed in a psychedelic color swirl and with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

It also features one of Reed’s campaign ads. In it, Robertson is shown as an astronaut floating in outer space.

UFOs carrying peace flags then fly over Robertson’s head as a female narrator speaks.

“Martha Robertson’s extreme Ithaca agenda is way out there,” the woman says.

“…she’s just not one of us.”

The website also says that Robertson has not held “a single public event or town hall.” (We’ve reached out to Robertson’s campaign to get a response to the claim.) Robertson spokesperson Seth Stein (no relation to author) said called the website a “desperate attempt” by Rep. Reed to distract voters from his record.

The election will be held in November. In 2012, Tompkins County Legislator Nate Shinagawa lost to Reed by about 4 percent of the vote.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.