No, not Halloween, not Thanksgiving, and not even Christmas. It’s Election Day, the one holiday that doesn’t come every year (unless you count Leap Day as a holiday, which we do, even though our attempts to get the day off have always been thwarted). Before we got our jobs working for this humble weekly newspaper and it’s tyrannical publisher, Walter “The Don” Sanchez, we would spend our Election Day evenings nestled up next to the warmth of our television set with a bottle of Night Train and unwind as we watched the returns roll in.
Now that we work here at Pol Position, we’ll be spending our Election Day evening hunched over our keyboard with our nose pressed against the computer monitor, chugging Night Train as a final measure to stave off exhaustion as we wait to print the final election counts. For the record, we enjoy the holiday much more now than we ever did.
But just like Christmas, it’s not just the day of Election Day that gets us so excited. It’s the build up. Like the twelve days of Christmas, on which our lover gave us menagerie of living creatures that perpetually perform menial activities and a handful of fruit and jewelry, the two weeks before Election Day are the craziest, most exciting times to be a follower of politics.
As the days before the voters make their final decision wind down, casual mudslinging between candidates becomes focused stone-casting which becomes vindictive knife stabbing, all in a public forum. The election is not just the only holiday we care about, it’s also the only sport we like. Not since the Romans stopped feeding Christians to the lions have we seen so much gleeful bloodshed, although in these politically correct times, we’ll have to settle for attacks on character rather than on flesh.
Of course, this election is an extra special one, because we’re staring down “one of the most important presidential elections in history.” Because the last 43 just weren’t as important as this one. And there is a lot of dirty pool going on in the national arena, but we’d like to step back and take a look at some of the shadier things going on here in our outer boroughs rather than drone on endlessly about the White House like some of our competitors. (*cough*USA Today*cough*)
The State Senate, which has been a Republican-run operation for quite sometime, may flip to Democratic control depending on how a few key elections play out, a few of which are happening in Queens.
Take for instance a demonstration led by Democratic Councilman Jim Gennaro against Republican incumbent State Senator Frank Padavan. The rally, which shipped several female protestors to Padavan’s campaign office to denounce his voting record on women’s rights issues, was successful enough to draw out the fickle members of the local media, and inspired a fierce rebuttal by Padavan himself. A sanitized version probably appears in a more reputable rag, but the direct quotes are enough to make our mother fly out to Queens from Boca Raton and wash the Senator’s mouth out with a fragrant, shell-shaped soap. Though his tirade was unprintable, we can say that it included a remarkably original combination of orifice and extremity.
We e-mailed a transcript to Gennaro, who was so offended that he posted a video onto Youtube in which the councilman appears to be dancing at a high school prom with an actor who resembles Padavan. As the two continue their awkward dance, it appears the Padavan-esque gentleman is falling for the tuxedoed Gennaro. The councilman leads the actor to the stage of the prom, where he, in a twisted homage to the movie Carrie, announces that the Padavan doppleganger has been voted cutest politician in the school before dumping a bucket of pig’s blood over him.
This particularly bitter rivalry between incumbent and challenger is reflected in another State Senate race unfolding in Southeast and Central Queens. Senator Serphin “Serf” Maltese is facing a tough race from Councilman Joseph “Joseph” Addabbo. While these two aren’t getting as obviously personal as the Gennaro and Padavan, they have engaged in a heinous mailing campaign that has been launching attacks aimed at their opponents by way of their constituent’s post office boxes.
One letter accused Addabbo of secretly constructing a large magnifying glass over Glendale that would melt all of the neighborhood’s iced cream, leaving only the despicably space-aged “Dippin Dots” to the despair of local children. Although it couldn’t be proven that the Maltese campaign was behind this mailing, Pol Position has its suspicions.
Likewise, a postcard with a crudely Photoshopped photograph of Maltese standing in front of the burning Hindenburg while pushing a button on a radio controller marked “Detonate” has been making the rounds. The implication that Maltese was somehow responsible for that epic loss of human life/awesome Led Zeppelin album cover is a low blow. We can’t prove that it was Addabbo’s campaign that did the ‘shopping, but we’ve got our suspicions.
But Election Day is next week, and before that, we’ve got Halloween, another day in which politics will certainly be represented. We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of
“Sexy Bloombergs” this year.