Don't Call it a Comeback
A scandal-scarred former congressman is running for mayor. A fallen ex-governor is running for comptroller. But Vito Fossella, a former congressman who has mused about his political return since becoming embroiled in his own sex scandal, says he isn’t planning to follow in the footsteps of Democrats Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer.
Nevertheless, Mr. Fosella, a Staten Island Republican, seemed to leave the door open to a future bid for public office.
Eliot Spitzer’s gubernatorial successor David Paterson, a close ally and former ticket-mate of the new city comptroller candidate, believes Anthony Weiner’s strong showing in the Democratic mayoral primary helped motivate Mr. Spitzer to leap into the race days before the petitioning deadline.
“I think that decision was made within the last week,” Mr. Paterson told radio host Curtis Sliwa yesterday, suggesting a fellow scandal-scarred pol’s success informed Mr. Spitzer’s decision. “Maybe the governor saw the way in which Congressman Weiner is holding his own in the Democratic primary.”
Anthony Weiner has traveled across the city’s five boroughs since he announced his mayoral campaign last month, but only today did he visit his old Queens neighborhood of Forest Hills that he fled in the aftermath of his Twitter scandal two years ago.
Overall, the response to his homecoming was mostly enthusiastic, although there were some very prominent skeptics–including a retired cop who whispered to Politicker, “You’re gonna like this question,” before approaching Mr. Weiner.
“Mr. Weiner, how are you, I was a police officer,” the paunchy, white-haired man began, just as the candidate wrapped up an amiable chat about express buses with another voter. “What if I did what you did online? Would you let me be a police officer?”
Red beret-wearing radio host and local television personality Curtis Sliwa stood behind billionaire John Catsimatidis as he announced his mayoral campaign yesterday. He confirmed to Politicker that Mr. Catsimatidis has his endorsement. Mr. Sliwa is the live-in boyfriend of Democratic Councilwoman Melinda Katz, so we wondered whether his backing of the Republican Mr. Castimatidis led to any debates at home.
“Oh yeah,” Mr. Sliwa said. “There’s a disagreement at home about everything. I have to be careful or I’ll be taking a timeshare on a park bench in Cunningham Park in Queens.”
The Newest Congressman
Councilwoman Melinda Katz formally kicked off her campaign for Queens Borough President last night, and in attendance among the Democratic pols and donors was her boyfriend, Curtis Sliwa, the outspoken radio show host and television personality, dressed in his customary Guardian Angels uniform and red beret. Since he has a rather unique relationship with Ms. Katz, we thought to ask him about his role in her campaign.
“I’ve been assigned to do everything, which means I’m good at nothing. Which means, ‘Stay out of the way Curtis, don’t embarrass me in front of my fellow Democrats,’” he answered. “I would say, based on my many statements throughout the years about Democrats, I’ve had to be extraordinarily careful when, all of a sudden, I come eyeball-to-eyeball with someone who’s eye-fornicating me for something I’ve said for six years ago and I’ve got to suck it up, when normally I’d never suck it up. But for the good of the campaign, I’ve got to suck it up.”
Bob Turner called into Curtis Sliwa’s radio show this morning, and when the host made reference to David Weprin as Crowley’s “Sock Puppet,” the newly-elected Congressman quickly cut him off.
“I got to tell you yesterday was a wonderful bi-partisan day,” he said. “I was introduced by Charlie Rangel in the House. At the end of the day I left the House, my wife and I, it was raining like crazy and who drives by and gives me a lift? Joe Crowley.”
Sliwa then asked Turner if he was worried he would wind up facedown in the Potomac River.
“No, he is a very pleasant, funny guy,” Turner responded. “We had a good chat.”