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Campaign Notebook: Bishop-Altschuler Debates Kick Off

Meanwhile, committees and super PACs flood the region with ads.

As election season kicks into high gear, Patch will be rounding up news from your local elections running up to Election Day. Here's what happened this week:

Congressional Debates Kick Off

Just over six weeks before Election Day, Congressional candidates Tim Bishop and Randy Altschuler started making the debating rounds, doing three debates in total from Sunday through Thursday. The two faced off Sunday (click here to see video of the first debate) and Thursday in Riverhead, with an appearance in Hampton Bays on Monday sandwiched between the two.

In Hampton Bays, a high school senior bluntly asked the two candidates, "Why are both of you running negative ads and sending negative flyers instead of concentrating on your own achievements and accomplishments?”

Committees, Super PACs Send Messages

While the two candidates for Congress battle it out mano a mano, like-minded political committees and super PACs are coming to send messages backing their candidate up - or taking their opponent down. The New York Democratic and Republican Committees have sent out handfuls of flyers over the past two weeks, one calling the other candidate "corrupt" while the other labels its opponent an "outsourcer."

Meanwhile Prosperity First, Inc., a conservative super PAC, PhotoShopped the former House Majority Nancy Pelosi to look as though she's playing chess in one flyer. And left-leaning House Majority PAC ran a TV ad highlighting Altschuler's former company OfficeTiger.

We asked readers what they thought of the flyers arriving in their mailboxes nearly every day. Join the conversation here.

Speaking of Super PACs...

The nation's highest donor to super PACs supporting Democratic candidates is Long Island's richest resident, East Setauket's James Simons. The founder of hedge fund firm Renaissance Technologies and former mathematics professor at SBU has donated $4 million to four different groups, most recently an Aug. 8 donation of $2 million to Priorities USA.

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