The opponent of pro-family State Senate candidate Sam Caligiuri (Southington, Wolcott, parts of Waterbury and Cheshire) has launched one of the most disgusting attacks we have seen in this year’s state elections:

Negative ads may be a fixture of political campaigns, but Dave Zoni’s latest mailer in his race against former Waterbury mayor Sam Caligiuri has critics both inside and outside politics saying the Southington Democrat has hit a new low.

The mailers, sent out in the past week, show a woman clutching a teddy bear next to headlines reading “A Shocking Crime” and “A Stunning Deal.” On the inside of the ad, a girl wearing shorts and a T-shirt is shown in a fetal position, her head buried at her knees, and holding a stuffed animal.

A passage above her tells the reader that Caligiuri “cut a deal” that allowed former Waterbury Mayor Phil Giordano to keep his salary, benefits and title at the taxpayers’ expense after Giordano was charged with sexually molesting children in 2001.

The ad also accuses Caligiuri, a Republican who then served as the president of the Waterbury Board of Aldermen, of “calling in political favors” to get the board to narrowly approve his decision not to impeach Giordano and shows Caligiuri’s face above Giordano’s police mug shots with the headline “Sam Caligiuri: His Friends Get Benefits.”

Caligiuri is quoted in the article explaining that the deal made certain that the not-yet-convicted Giordano would never serve again and that, without the deal, Giordano would have received his full salary and remained mayor if released from prison. And the Republican-American’s Ed Goodman reminds us in an op-ed today that Caligiuri was actually Giordano’s main nemesis on the Board of Aldermen.

But this is the quote that really sums up what David Zoni has done:

“It’s deplorable, it’s low and I’ve never seen anything that bad,” said Kelly Cronin, executive director of Waterbury Youth Services. “I’ve seen kids in this position, and for someone to use that image to gain a vote and to go after another man’s integrity is despicable. He crossed the line.”

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