Phil Reisman: Stalin quip an unfortunate aside in county exec race
This county executive’s race is all about defining the other side in the most unflattering terms — and the caricature being drawn of Astorino is that of a foaming-at-the-mouth right winger. In that context I tried to bait Astorino into retaliating against Bramson. I reached for, well, hyperbole.
“So what is he,” I asked, “a proto-Stalinist?”
Of course, I screwed that up. I meant to say, “neo-Stalinist.” In any case, Astorino didn’t bite.
But Bramson’s campaign immediately cried foul.
Reisman then "apologized".
Perhaps I should’ve chosen a softer comparison. Al Franken?
On the other hand, they are a just a tad sensitive over there in Bramson country. Astorino has been really getting under their thin dermis by constantly referring to Bramson as a “part-time” mayor. There’s nothing part-time about this mayor, they counter. He works a full, 40-hour week.
Technically, Bramson is the chief elected official in a “weak mayor” form of city government in which the nuts and bolts of municipal business are handled by a full-time, professional city manager.
So the name-calling from the Astorino camp could be worse.
They could call Bramson a weak mayor with all of the negative connotations that goes with it.
Or worse, he could be called a part-time, neo-Stalinist.