[UPDATE BELOW] Mayoral frontrunners Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio are going into attack mode as the race enters its last few weeks. On the cusp of tonight's official mayoral debate at Town Hall, Quinn's campaign created a Tumblr called "The Tale of Two de Blasios," accusing de Blasio of flip-flopping on several important issues, including term limits for Council Members and the Mayor’s 5-boro taxi plan. Here's Quinn's attack ad, for some reason set to Strauss's "Blue Danube":

The video also slams de Blasio for taking full advantage of City Council "member items," which allow individual Councilmembers to dole out hundreds of thousands of dollars to nonprofit organizations and other local groups in their district as they see fit. In his last year in the City Council in 2009, de Blasio gave out a whopping $885,000 to local groups. He later changed his mind on the spending and called for reform.

Of course, member items have also been a highly effective way for the City Council Speaker to control other members' votes, using money allocated from the so-called “Speaker’s list” to punish or reward Councilmembers. In the wake of a 2008 scandal—in which it was discovered that Speaker Quinn had hidden millions of taxpayer dollars by allocating grants to a “slush fund” with fictitious organizations—Quinn made the Council's spending process more transparent.

But her reforms didn't touch the "Speaker's list" funds, the key to much of her power on the City Council. “This is the real problem,” Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, told City and State. “that this taxpayer money is used to punish or reward on a political basis."

Asked about the Tale of Two de Blasios series, a de Blasio spokesperson told us, "New Yorkers want change from the Bloomberg and Quinn years, so rather than try to defend her record of overturning term limits, cutting after school programs, and doing nothing as Stop and Frisk raged out of control, Speaker Quinn's campaign is now launching misleading attacks to distract from the fact that she has been the Mayor's chief political ally for years."

Speaking of attacks, the de Blasio camp is launching their own anti-Quinn Tumblr today, and his campaign spokesperson also pointed us to this "Quinnberg" website. A video posted today focuses on Quinn's appreciation for NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and stop & frisk:

Quinn is also furious today about a remark de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, made in an interview with Times columnist Maureen Dowd. Quinn, McCray said, "is not accessible. She’s not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave.” Quinn called the comment "over the line" and fired off this statement:

There are women all across the City who don’t have children for any number of reasons, whether they simply can’t, choose not to, or circumstances don’t afford them the possibility. I have taken a number of shots in this race from the men running against me, and I accept that as par for the course in a political campaign.

But to criticize me as not understanding what young families go through because I might not have children, is over the line and I take great personal offense to the comment, as does my wife. As young teenage girls, both my wife and I lost our mothers and the decision to have children is a deep and personal one that we should be afforded the opportunity to make, without aspersion.

So tonight's big Democratic candidate debate at Town Hall, which Gothamist is co-hosting, should be lively. Maybe somebody new will refuse to shake Anthony Weiner's hand!

The 90-minute debate will air at 7 p.m. on NY1 and NY1 Noticias with Spanish interpretation. The debate will also be streamed live on NY1.com, NY1noticias.com and Gothamist.com with no login required. A half-hour analysis show will air on NY1 following the debate.

UPDATE: De Blasio's campaign says his wife was misquoted in the Dowd column, and they have the audio to prove it. De Blasio campaign manager Bill Hyers said in a statement, “As the transcript makes clear, her actual comments were about Speaker Quinn’s unwillingness to listen to the people on education, and paid sick leave, and any suggestion otherwise is disingenuous and absurd.”

The Times has issued a correction, and here's McCray's full quote:

I don’t see her speaking to the concerns of women who have to take care of children at a young age or send them to school and after school, paid sick days, workplace, she is not speaking to any of those issues. What can I say? And she is not accessible, she is not the kind of person that I feel that you can go up and talk to and have a conversation with about those things.