GOP State Senate Candidate Mails Out Flyers of Jewish Opponent Clutching $100 Bills

'Do you want to protect your wallets, or do you want to make Matt Lesser your new state senator?' Republican Ed Charamut asks

A State Senate candidate in Connecticut sent out a flyer that featured his Jewish opponent holding $100 bills.

The mailer distributed by the campaign of Ed Charamut, a Republican, features a manipulated image of Democrat Matt Lesser under text saying that he opposes lowering some taxes.

Lesser, 35, told the Hartford Courant that people told him on Monday that they had received “an anti-Semitic flyer.”

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An anti-Semitic flier sent out by Republican candidate Ed Charamut depicting his Jewish opponent, Matt Lesser.
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“I did not believe them, I thought there was a mistake,” he said. “Someone showed it to me and I think it would be a gross understatement to say I was surprised.”

Charamut, 60, dismissed claims that the flyer invoked anti-Semitic stereotypes.

“I reject hate speech in all its forms,” he told the Courant. “The mailer draws a stark contrast between myself and Matt Lesser. Do you want to protect your wallets, or do you want to make Matt Lesser your new state senator?”

The director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Connecticut office, Steve Ginsburg, said the flyer suggested anti-Jewish imagery.

“We do know, though, the feelings that the flyer is evoking – the juxtaposition of a Jewish candidate for office and money in this manner suggests an age-old anti-Semitic trope,” Ginsburg told the Courant. “We can’t and don’t know the motivation of the producer of the flyer, but we do know its impact and they should clarify what they meant.”