I had a series of conversations with mayoral spokeswoman Rachel Laing about the lead quotation in this story we published yesterday on the mayor’s response to a draft report from a fiscal task force of business leaders.

Laing believes that her quotation — “The mayor was being a bit cranky” — leaves out context that she conveyed to me in an interview yesterday.

The mayor was annoyed, she reiterated, because he felt that a report that did not represent his views was being linked to him. She was not referring to the mayor’s overall mood.

“He did take a sharp tone because he felt the question mischaracterized the entire issue,” Laing said.

Some background. In a press conference last week, Sanders responded to a question about the draft and its recommendation that the city file for bankruptcy if it didn’t follow a series of large-scale reforms. Also, as we explained in our story yesterday, Sanders doesn’t believe that the task force should be characterized as his financial advisors, though the same people serve on a private committee charged with pushing his agenda.

Sanders’ response distanced him from the task force and detailed why he believes bankruptcy is such a bad idea.

Bankruptcy, he said, restructures but doesn’t eliminate debt, and it costs millions in attorney’s fees. Further, he said he doesn’t believe bankruptcy would allow the city to renegotiate labor contracts, one of the most frequently cited reasons for filing.

“You could simply kick the can down the street further, but you restructure plus you pay attorney’s fees,” Sanders said.

— LIAM DILLON

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