Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham took Councilman Jeff Smith, his Nov. 8 opponent, to task because he was introduced by a party chair at a union event.
That introduction sullied the city's nonpartisan tradition of electing its mayor, Mr. Graham said.
"Last week, my opponent ignored our tradition of nonpartisan city government by being introduced by the local Democratic chair at a labor endorsement meeting in Gouverneur," Mr. Graham said Wednesday at a news conference.
But... Inconsistency alert! Four years ago, Mr. Graham was introduced — and endorsed, something that Democratic Chairman Sean Hennessey did not do for Mr. Smith — by Frank MacKay, the chairman of the state Independence Party at a campaign event (Mr. Graham is a registered Indy, and used to be involved in a local branch of the nation's third-largest party).
So what's the difference?
Mr. MacKay "offered to come up and say some kind words," Mr. Graham told me a moment ago. "There's probably a nuance of difference, but I'm not going to debate the difference."
Mr. Graham also criticized me somewhat for asking about this. If Mr. Smith wants to criticize him for it, he said, that's all well and good, but reporters shouldn't be in that business.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.
"Is there a difference?" Mr. Graham said. "It's up for others to decide."
Check out the video, courtesy Newzjunky from an Oct. 27, 2007 event at the Ives Hill Country Club in Watertown.