From the Morning Memo:

A coalition of progressive Democrats are criticizing TV ads released by the state committee that knock House Republicans over gun control over concerns the spots are a stealth campaign commercial for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

State Committee Executive Director Geoff Berman in response insisted the ads are being misconstrued. But the incident highlights what could be a growing rift within the committee that in recent months has elected Zephyr Teachout, a critic of the governor’s who challenged him in a 2014 primary.

Teachout was one of the committee members who signed onto the letter.

The ads released this week take Republicans task for the lack of new gun control legislation in the wake of a high school shooting in Florida, airing in GOP-held House districts.

But in a letter to Berman, the Democratic committee members questioned the effectiveness of the ad given its intent to criticize Republicans on gun control.

“The ad buy is not targeted to a region in which there are close swing districts, nor does it mention any Republican by name,” the letter states. “It appears to be a re-election ad.”

The committee members called for the next committee meeting to discuss ad spending, proposing a ban on communications prior to endorsements being made and asked that “focus resources” on the state Senate, narrowly controlled by Republicans.

In a response released by Berman (and made available on Twitter, where else?), the state executive director writes that the ad campaign is meant to be part of a weeks-long campaign meant to highlight the gun control issue, which has been a key issue for the governor, and “holding them accountable” on passing new legislation.

“It draws a contrast between Democrats (exemplified by the proposed Cuomo gun safety legislation) and the NY GOP with their NRA A-ratings and NRA obstructionist record.”

Berman also notes Cuomo’s re-election campaign “made a sizable donation” to the state party to help cover such efforts.

The questions surrounding the ads come as Cuomo could face a competitive primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon, an actress and public education advocate.

But Cuomo has also made it a point this election cycle to flip House seats held in competitive districts by Republicans, viewing Reps. John Faso and Claudia Tenney as especially vulnerable this year.