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New York: Comedian Chappelle to Help Towns Challenger

Kevin Powell, the author and community activist who is seeking to oust veteran Rep. Edolphus Towns in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, is hosting a fundraiser tonight that will be headlined by well-known comedian Dave Chappelle.

Chappelle will appear at Eugene, a trendy Manhattan club. Ticket prices start at $75.

According to an invitation for the fundraiser, the event’s honorary chairwomen include Gloria Steinem, the legendary feminist leader, and Afeni Shakur, the former Black Panther, feminist poet and mother of the late rap star Tupac Shakur. Powell has written extensively about the rapper’s career.

Maffei Talks Job Losses In His First Ad of ’08

Dan Maffei (D), the former Capitol Hill staffer running to replace retiring Rep. Jim Walsh (R), launched his first TV ad of the campaign on Tuesday.

The ad, produced by KnickerbockerSKD, focuses on the loss of jobs in the Syracuse area.

“When I was growing up in Syracuse, my grandfather owned a small metal- plating plant,” Maffei says as pictures of the district flash on the screen. “One hundred people used to work here. Today, they are all gone.”

Maffei goes on to describe the decision he and his fiancee made to remain in the area.

“I know if we stay and fight, we can make upstate New York great again,” he says.

The ad will air on broadcast and cable TV stations throughout the district for an unannounced period of time.

Maffei, who finished just 2 points behind Walsh in 2006, is likely to face former Onondaga Legislature Chairman Dale Sweetland (R) in November.

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