From the Morning Memo:

Republican NY-19 candidate John Faso’s campaign has launched a website smearing one of his primary opponents in the race to replace retiring Rep. Chris Gibson.

In an admittedly clever move – and one employed by many tech-savvy campaigns these days – the Faso campaign registered the domain “” to use for the site.

The site features four attacks against businessman Andrew Heaney: that he supported then-Democratic Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, that he failed to pay his property taxes on a mansion in Rhode Island, that he “is an out of touch carpet bagger”, and potentially illegally funded a Super PAC.

Needless to say, the Heaney campaign is not amused.

“This is rich coming from John Faso who has been in politics long enough to invent carpet bagging, whose PAC donated to Obama, (House Minority Leader Nancy) Pelosi, (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid and who helped blazed the trail for Albany corruption serving a five year lobbying ban,” said Heaney spokesman David Catalfamo.

The Faso campaign fired back in a statement Thursday evening, saying: “The only truthful part of Andrew Heaney’s statement is that he spelled John Faso’s name right.”

Heaney did contribute $2,300 to Barack Obama’s 2008 bid for the White House according to FEC filings. He also gave to two GOP candidates that year – Sen. John McCain and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani – and has a history of donating to Republicans.

Heaney’s campaign has been quick to point out, however, that Faso’s old firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips has made its own contributions to Democrats – including Pelosi and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein – during Faso’s time there.

However, it’s only fair to point out that the firm has also contributed to its fair share of Republicans, too.

On the allegations over unpaid property taxes, the website cites the Assessor’s Office in Newport, R.I. for the $2,800 in penalties Heaney is said to have racked up. We can confirm through the city’s database that Heaney did own the mansion in question, but could not find property tax records online.

The site also alleges that before Heaney moved to NY-19 in 2013, he threw what the Faso campaign says was a “Green Acres Goodbye” party. Photos on the website show people – we don’t know who they are – posing with life-size cardboard cut-outs of Andrew Heaney standing next to his wife and holding a pitchfork.

Heaney announced his run for Congress two years after moving to the district following news that Gibson would not seek re-election to pursue a potential statewide run in 2018. (As we learned this week, the retiring congressman is forgoing politics altogether in favor of a career in academia).

Decades ago, Faso followed a similar path, first running for the state Assembly just three years after moving to New York in 1983.

The last portion of the mock website references a complaint filed with the FEC by the campaign finance watchdog group Campaign for Accountability.

In the complaint, the group points to donations from Heaney’s company, Heaney Energy Corporation, to a Super PAC that now actively works against Faso. The matter has not been resolved by the FEC.

Both Heaney and Faso will compete in a primary June 28th, along with Republican Bob Bishop, whose petitions Heaney’s camp has challenged in an effort to oust him from the ballot.