By THOMAS KAPLAN
Published: October 16, 2012
In Westchester County, a television advertisement accused a Democrat running for the State Senate of using campaign money to treat himself to fancy dinners. In Rochester, a commercial branded a Republican candidate as anti-women. And in Queens, a mailer attacked a Democratic incumbent for providing taxpayer money to a nonprofit organization that facilitates parrot adoptions.
The searing advertisements have one thing in common: they were financed by independent groups, not political campaigns.