(JTA) — A state Senate candidate in Connecticut sent out a flier 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 flier.”
“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 flier 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 flier suggested anti-Jewish imagery.
“We do know though the feelings that the flier 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 flier, but we do know its impact and they should clarify what they meant.”