From the Morning Memo:

The campaign of Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino on Monday released a statewide ad that plays off the infamous “Daisy” commercial of the 1964 presidential campaign.

In the Astorino ad, a little girl is seen picking petals from a flower, which then transitions to a countdown to a mushroom cloud, much like the original ad.

“These are the stakes: Do we re-elect a governor who may end up in jail?” the narrator says.

The ad is a homage to a TV commercial from Lyndon Johnson’s campaign 50 years ago, which tried to paint Republican nominee Barry Goldwater as a president who would start a nuclear war.

Though that ad aired only once, it has become part of American political lore, and is credited with changing how attack ads are focused in campaigns.

The Johnson campaign didn’t have to actually pay to get the ad on the air — it was the buzz generated about it that mattered. Clearly, that’s what Astorino is hoping for here.

Political history buffs may get the allusion, but it’s very possible the allusion to the historic LBJ commercial will be lost on anyone who isn’t a Baby Boomer. The ad doesn’t offer much in the way of context as to why Gov. Andrew Cuomo “may end up in jail.”

And while it may capture the esprit de corpes among Cuomo’s many critics, the bigger question is whether it can sway anyone on the fence.

But the ad seems to signal a refocusing of the Astorino campaign, now four weeks before Election Day, to raising broader questions about Cuomo’s corruption record.

This ad also comes from the same campaign that released a satirical version of an attack ad accusing Cuomo of murdering unicorns, part of a broader effort to gain some traction and also call for an airing of issues in the campaign.

And as the Republican candidate acknowledges in a statement this morning, the ad is meant to catch viewers’ attention.

“Every New Yorker needs to know about the federal corruption investigation into Andrew Cuomo that may land him in prison,” Astorino said in a statement. “No ad in American history captured the attention of the nation more than ‘Daisy,” and we believe this 50th anniversary version, ‘Jail,’ will similarly call attention to Andrew Cuomo’s corruption scandal here in New York.”

Shifting into this mode, Astorino has blasted Cuomo for his handling of the Moreland Commission To Investigate Public Corruption, a now-defunct anti-corruption panel being reviewed by the U.S. attorney’s office.

Cuomo’s office sought to exert influence over the panel, seeking to direct or block subpoenas from the commission in order to get state lawmakers to agree to an ethics package.

At the same time, the Astorino campaign is trying to find fire with the smoke caused by several Democratic candidates not obtaining the Women’s Equality Party ballot line.

The ballot line, created by state Democrats and Cuomo’s re-election campaign to promote the 10-point women’s agenda, does not have many down-ballot candidates gaining access after their petitions were tossed.

Astorino’s campaign told Fred Dicker of The New York Post today that it wants a review of the petitioning process and whether there was a widespread effort to submit fraudulent signatures to the Board of Elections for the ballot line.

The main question will be whether Astorino, down in the polls and lagging in fundraising, can receive a last minute boost from the legal questions swirling around Cuomo.

Clearly, Astorino would like U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to not be promoted to U.S. attorney general, at least for the month of October.