With Anthony Weiner having resigned, there’s a congressional special election coming up in New York’s 9th district. Democrats were feeling pretty comfortable about the contest until a Siena poll showed Democrat David Weprin leading Republican Bob Turner by just six points, 48% to 42%.

We’ll know soon enough whether the race is as close as advertised, but with just three weeks to go before the election, we’re getting a good look at the guy Republicans nominated.

A couple of weeks ago, Turner began running ugly attack ads, targeting Weprin for supporting Muslim Americans’ rights to build a community center in lower Manhattan. This week, Turner inexplicably is going after the Zadroga law.

The GOP hopeful running for ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat says the $4.3 billion Zadroga 9/11 health law is too broad — and shouldn’t cover volunteers sickened at Ground Zero. […]

Some $1.5 billion of the Zadroga package is set aside to monitor the health of rescue and cleanup crews. It also bankrolls the treatment for Ground Zero workers, volunteers and residents who became ill from breathing in twin tower toxins.

The remaining $2.78 billion is set aside to compensate the families of those killed and the injured, including responders and volunteers – and nearby residents and office workers in an area south of Chambers St.

“I think it is a little too broad,” Turner said.

Turner said he supports the law, but just belives Democrats went too far in providing assistance to those who got sick at Ground Zero.

Who should be left out? In Turner’s mind, volunteers who showed up to help, and are now feeling ill effects, shouldn’t be covered by the Zadroga measure.

I’m not a New Yorker, but I’m hard pressed to imagine this is going to win Turner a lot of votes.

John Feal, a former construction supervisor who was seriously injured at Ground Zero, told the New York Daily News, “That day [9/11], and for months after, there were no uniforms. Volunteers worked next to rescue crews for weeks…. For Bob Turner to turn his back on those New Yorkers, but use images of the burning towers in campaign ads — a circus monkey can out-politic Bob Turner, he’s an embarrassment to the Republican Party.”

Election Day is Sept. 13.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.