Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Staten Island-- The Craziest Congressional Race Anywhere


On Saturday we explained why the much-hated Republican hot dog vendor-- hated by Republicans-- had virtually no chance of winning the Staten Island (plus a bit of Brooklyn) congressional seat that was abandoned by Bush rubber stamp Vito Fossella after he was caught with two families. We accepted that the likely next congressman would be, by default, a very conservative Democratic hack from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, Michael McMahon.

But then there was a new and bizarre development. On Sunday, some Fossella cronies sent up a trial balloon that their man was back in the race and that the hot dog vendor was being convinced to give up his pointless place on the ballot-- in return for a judicial appointment.
"It's absolutely true," a source close to Fossella said of rumors that Fossella and his allies are quietly plotting his comeback.

Voters in the 13th Congressional District got polling calls about Fossella this weekend, the Staten Island Advance reported Sunday.

There's only one problem: The election lineup is already set.

...A candidate can only be bumped off the ballot now if they die, move out of state or are nominated to run for a judgeship.

Both Straniere and Atanasio are lawyers and eligible for the bench - and there are plenty of open races throughout the city and state.

Straniere isn't universally supported by Staten Island Republicans. He only got the party's nod after the abrupt death of Frank Powers, its first-choice pick. Even then, insiders suspected Straniere's ability to switch and run for a judgeship was part of his appeal.

With Fossella's trial scheduled for October-- right in the midst of an election campaign-- many thought this was an impossible scenario... although it is Staten Island. But then late yesterday, Fossella issued a statement saying he's not running after all.
“I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of support that I have received from people throughout the district through these difficult times, but I am not a candidate for Congress,” Mr. Fossella said in a statement released by his office. “As I have stated before, my priorities are my family and serving the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn.”

Obviously Fossella being back in Congress and him "serving the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn" are mutually exclusive. Straniere, the hot dog vendor, breathed a sigh of relief when he was informed that he could continue his hopeless run for Congress/. “I am the Republican candidate in the 13th Congressional District,” he said in an interview on Monday afternoon. “I won overwhelmingly in the Republican primary and I’m running for Congress. I have been strongly supported by the Fossella family. In fact, the congressman’s father was with me on primary night. I have no idea where these rumors come from.”

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At 5:10 PM, Blogger ordinaryperson said...

"I have been strongly supported by the Fossella family."

Which family?

(Too obvious?)


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