In The New York Times’s study of Bill de Blasio’s upbringing—which culminated, at the age of 18, with his father’s violent suicide—the paper reveals that the parents of the Democratic candidate for New York City mayor came under suspicion of sympathizing with Communists:

On July 14, 1950, at 10:15 a.m., the couple was questioned by the Loyalty Board at a federal office building. Had [de Blasio’s father] enlisted in the military with hopes of turning his gun on his superiors? Had [de Blasio’s mother] conspired with Communists at Time, as a prominent anti-Communist writer at the magazine, Whittaker Chambers, had alleged? Was it true that they kept recordings of Red Army songs in their home on Q Street?

It was a different era. Actually, not really! De Blasio’s Republican opponent Joe Lhota deployed a similar tactic just last month:

“Quite honestly, there are words that I don’t like to use, but his own words–in his own words–he called himself a Democratic socialist. It’s really unfortunate that that’s the level that we’ve come to in this city,” Mr. Lhota said, prompting a reporter to ask whether he thought Mr. de Blasio was “anti-capitalist.”

22 days to go, New York.

[Photo credit: Associated Press]