Rep. Anthony Weiner, is the most recent in a growing list of New York politicians to be accused of illegal, untoward or downright odd behavior.
New York, New York
A helluva state
We elect borderline reprobates
The latest scandal’s called Weinergate
New York, New York —
It’s a helluva state!
Yes, there’s something about New York’s latest political scandal that just makes you want to burst into song.
Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Queens/Brooklyn-area Democrat, is the most recent in a growing list of New York politicians to be accused of illegal, untoward or downright odd behavior.
The now even more awkwardly named congressman spent much of last week explaining how a lewd photo was sent from his Twitter account to 21-year-old Seattle college student. He said hackers sent the pic, described by the Associated Press as — are you sitting down? — “a waist down photo of a man’s bulging underpants.” Weiner has been evasive on whether the photo depicted him, however, and he was slow to call authorities about the hacking, both of which have fanned the flames of ... well, silliness, really.
I mean, reporters asking a politician named Weiner to comment on a “tweet” of a photo of “bulging underpants” — this is more SNL than NPR.
But it has become a legitimate distraction for Democrats, who were described by the Associated Press as — no need to sit down; this description’s a little tamer — “privately fum(ing) at the forced detour in their arguments about Medicare and spending.”
It has also become the most recent of an ongoing richness of embarrassments when it comes to New York office-holders. Consider:
• Former western New York Rep. Chris Lee resigned in February after it was revealed the married, 47-year-old Republican sent a shirtless photo of himself to a potential date on the website Craigslist.
• Former Southern Tier Rep. Eric Massa resigned last March after allegations the Corning Democrat sexually harassed a male staffer.
• Former Gov. David Paterson had to drop plans to run for election last year thanks to several controversies, including an ugly and complicated domestic violence case involving a staffer and his apparently inappropriate solicitation of 2009 World Series tickets.
• Paterson’s predecessor, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, resigned in disgrace after he was revealed to have solicited high-priced call girls.
• Former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi resigned as part of a plea agreement for using state employees to chauffeur his wife, and was sentenced in April to prison time for his role in a pay-to-play scandal involving the state’s pension fund. Not salacious; but he’s the only one in jail.
And these are just New York’s statewide and congressional office holders; our state-level legislators make for another long list of Pols Behaving Badly.
New York certainly hasn’t cornered the market on immoral behavior by elected officials, as John Edwards, Mark Sanford and Arnold Schwarzenegger can attest. But the continuing streak of questionable, lamentable, distasteful behavior is an ongoing national embarrassment.
Did I say burst into song? I meant, burst into tears.
Contact Kevin Frisch at (585) 394-0770, ext. 257, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.