by Kevin Walsh

US Representative Paul Fino (1913-2009) was elected to the State Senate from 1946-1950 and elected to Congress in 1952, where he served 8 terms, and then the State Supreme Court in 1968.

A usually conservative though sometimes moderate Republican, Mr. Fino had a hard time swallowing what he considered the Manhattan-style elitism of  [John V.] Lindsay, who was mayor from 1966 through 1973. His needling of the mayor resonated with the mostly Italian and Irish working-class homeowners in what was then the 25th Congressional District in the Bronx. He represented them from 1953 to 1968.

In 1967, when he was also the chairman of the Bronx Republican Party, Mr. Fino called for all Republicans to oppose Mayor Lindsay, a fellow Republican, and his campaign to promote New York as “Fun City.”

On May 18, 1967, Mr. Fino stood on a ladder to finish affixing a 20-by-8-foot billboard beside the Willis Avenue Bridge, which connects Manhattan and the Bronx. The sign read: “Fun City Line Stops Here” and “Republicans of Bronx County Want No Fun Riots, Fun Taxes, Fun Crimes, Fun Mayor.”…

…In 1972, he sentenced a 23-year-old drug addict convicted of selling one-seventy-third of an ounce of heroin to 30 years in prison. NY Times

A campaign ad for Rep. Fino can still be found on Morris Park Avenue east of Adams Street near the East 180th Street #2/#5 station.

“Fun City Line Stops Here” … heh!



therealguyfaux June 14, 2013 - 3:25 pm

Although it was filmed in Astoria and it is specifically mentioned in the film that it is supposed to be set in Belmont, the film A Bronx Tale always reminded me more of Morris Park than anywhere else. (Perhaps more a function of the location shooting, I guess, but I’m sure there’s many a Morris Park-ite who could have probably told a similar story.) “If your father can’t pay the rent, go tell Mickey Mantle, see what he says– he don’t care; nobody cares.” = one of the great scenes in any motion picture.

NY2AZ June 15, 2013 - 10:15 am

I was born & raised in Parkchester. In the fifties & sixties Fino was a fixture at virtually every local function. He once visited my Boy Scout Troop (92). He arrived with a Girl Scout troop escort. Our honor guard met them at the door, exchanged salutes, & escorted Rep. Fino into the main assembly hall where he addressed us & of course, he was available for photo-ops. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this was an early introduction to retail politics. Try substituting Anthony Weiner for Paul Fino in this anecdote: could you read it & keep a straight face? “Where have you gone Joe Di Maggio?..”

fdr June 15, 2013 - 1:18 pm

Fino was a running mate of Louis Lefkowitz, the State Attorney General who was the Republican candidate for Mayor in 1961, losing to incumbent Mayor Robert F. Wagner. The ticket was Lefkowitz-Fino-Gilhooley. I don’t remember if Fino ran for City Council President or Comptroller.

CJ June 16, 2013 - 7:58 pm

I remember the 1961 campaign.

Remember the ditty?

….you’ll be safe in your park at night after dark
with Lefkowitz, Fino, Gilhooley.


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