It may be a publicity stunt, but that didn’t stop Staten Island pols from weighing in on the spate of creepy clown sightings around the borough in recent days.
“This IS creepy! Anyone spot this clown?” Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis asked on Twitter, linking to a story from the Staten Island Advance that described “several reports of a mysterious clown wandering the borough” holding green and yellow balloons.
“That’s a clown question, bro,” remarked Borough President Jimmy Oddo when asked about the story via Twitter. “Sorry. I have wanted to say that to a reporter ever since Bryce Harper first uttered it.”
Congressman Michael Grimm urged residents to report clown sightings to local Councilman Vinny Ignizio’s office. “Rumor is he’s organizing a Creeper-Clown Taskforce. Godspeed Vinny!” added Mr. Grimm. (For his part, Mr. Ignizio’s spokesman said the councilman had not received any complaints about the clowns.)
State Senator Diane Savino told the Observer she hadn’t spotted one of the creepsters personally–and was glad she hadn’t.
“I haven’t seen it and my reaction is: Thank goodness! I hate clowns. They scare the hell out of me,” said Ms. Savino, who said she remembers being spooked out by the red-nosed jokesters when she was a kid.
“There’s something about clowns. It’s just like a visceral reaction … From the time I was a kid I can remember at the circus they just gave me the creeps,” she said, adding that if she saw one of the prankster while driving, “I would like totally freak out.”
Still, Ms. Savino also couldn’t help taking a political shot when asked how she felt about the national headlines the story had garnered. “We’ve had our own clown recently in national and internal headlines,” she said, in a not-so-subtle shot against Mr. Grimm.
“It looks like it’s a prank. It’s certainly gotten a lot of people’s attention,” she added.
Even the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee got in on the fun, with its press secretary, Marc Brumer, using the news event as another opportunity to hit the embattled congressman, who is up for re-election this year.
“Creepy clown is almost as mysterious as Rep. Michael Grimm’s fundraising, FBI probe,” he tweeted late last night.
Assemblyman Joe Borelli also weighed in, assuring the Observer he was not the man behind the face paint.
“It wasn’t me…” he said over Twitter, before downplaying the scares. “I think its funny and avant garde. harmless fun. Comedians should be always looking for new ways to entertain us.”