Civic News
Municipal government / Politics

Philadelphia 2013 City Controller race gets ugly online

The Real Alan Butkovitz vs. @Mandel Exposed

The May 2013 Democratic primary for City Controller is already getting ugly —  but it’s not (explicitly, at least) between candidates.

Instead, it’s taking place on the Internet between advocates for current Controller Alan Butkovitz (read our Q&A with him from last year here) and self-styled city budget watchdog Brett Mandel, who lost to Butkovitz in a testy three-way primary battle in 2009.

(And, for the uninitiated, the City Controller is an elected official who oversees the city’s Auditing Department.)

Late last week, Ralph Kaplan, a former employee of the City Controller’s Office, launched a site called The Real Alan Butkovitz. Kaplan blitzed local media, including Technically Philly and other indie blogs and news sites.

The site, which Philebrity called out as “sour grapes,” features articles about Butkovitz’s wrongdoings and some favorable shout-outs to Butkovitz’s 2013 opponent Brett Mandel. It also features a Photoshopped image of Butkovitz as Pinnochio.

On the other side of the race, there’s  the @mandelexposed Twitter account that has been tweeting out insults about Mandel.

The 2009 general race for City Controller between Butkovitz and now-Republican City Commissioner Al Schmidt also took a catty turn with both candidates taking shots at each other, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.


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