The Boardman company hired to plan and manage the victory party of New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio drew the ire and a criticism of the Mahoning Valley from the New York Post.
Forty Two Event Production was selected by the de Blasio campaign for his party in Brooklyn on election night.
The company handles Democratic political events in the Midwest including more than 100 with President Barack Obama including those in the Mahoning Valley, said Anthony Ferrello, its chief executive officer.
The Post, a tabloid known for outrageous headlines and colorful writing, started in the article: “As if there aren’t any party planners in New York City,” and called the hiring “an epic snub to the city’s event businesses.”
The article also referred to Youngstown, which the reporter wrote was the location of Forty Two, as a “podunk town in the Buckeye State nearly 500 miles away.” It’s a lot closer to 400 miles.
Ferrello said of the article: “I got a little kick out of that. The campaign thought it was cute. I wasn’t offended. It was amusing to me though I had people calling me [who were] infuriated about ‘podunk’ and ‘Buckeye’ because it implies we don’t know what to do. Of course, that’s not true.”
The article also quoted an anonymous source described as a “veteran political strategist” as saying, “You would think the campaign could handle that themselves. They hired an Ohio party planner? It doesn’t seem genius.”
The de Blasio campaign hired a producer for the event, and that producer had worked with Forty Two in the past, Ferrello said.
“He went to the campaign to recommend our company,” Ferrello said. “The campaign took a long time to decide, but chose us.”
Ferrello said his company handled the management of de Blasio’s event for the Democrat elected mayor Tuesday, hired local unions to help stage it, was in charge of the production equipment, the video screen, curtains, lighting, sound, the press area and streamed de Blasio’s acceptance speech on his website.
“It was a great event,” Ferrello said.