It sounded like the opening salvo of Bob Bratina's undeclared but much speculated on mayoral campaign.
Holding forth amid a circle of reporters, the Ward 2 councillor cast doubts on the thoroughness of the court-ordered audit of Mayor Larry Di Ianni's campaign finances, questioned whether the $23,000 in overcontributions and ineligible donations "compromised" the 2003 mayoral election, and provoked a sharp exchange with Mario Joannette, the mayor's chief of staff.
The fireworks occurred the other night after council referred the audit to city lawyers for advice on where to go from here, effectively cutting off a debate councillors Dave Braden and Bratina were ready and willing to have on the spot.
The fact that Joannette and Mike Kirkopoulos, the mayor's communications officer, quickly moved in to monitor media interviews with Braden and Bratina not only suggests a hypersensitivity to the audit issue, it underscores there's more to the increasingly snappish relationship between Di Ianni and Bratina than just political differences. Di Ianni's people obviously see a rival on the horizon.
The municipal election is just a year away, and rumours are flying that Bratina, the popular CHML morning man, is planning to take Di Ianni on.