Vito's Back!

Back in 2008, sleaze ball Staten Island Congressman Vito Fossella was a frequent topic here at DWT. At the time, the aftermath of a seemingly innocuous drunk driving arrest wound up spelling curtains for the reactionary Fossella, who suddenly becoame a household name in his own district, causing some residents to laugh and others to feel ashamed and embarrassed. He was arrested in Virginia early in May, 2008, with a blood alcohol level of 0.17-- over twice the legal limit. But that was just the beginning of his problem. He and a friend had been kicked out of a bar after the friend passed out and neither was capable of driving. When Fossella was pulled over, he was abusive towards the police officers and make up a story about going to take a sick daughter to the hospital. That was the first clue that Fossella is a bigamist with two families-- one in Staten Island and one in Virginia.

Unable to garner enough support for another bid, he announced 3 weeks later that he would serve out the rest of his term and retire from politics, taking a job as a lobbyist for Al D;Amato's crooked firm, Park Strategies. A conservative Democrat won the seat for one term. The retirement ended this past March when he announced he would run for Staten Island borough president. He just won the Republican primary, barely beating the GOP establishment candidate, City Councilman Steven Matteo by 290 votes-- 9,306 (50.8%) to 9,016 (49.2%). Matteo was leading in the polls until Trump and Giuliani endorsed Fossella, who is already talking about secession from NYC, something he's been pushing since the early 1990s.

Most Staten Island Republicans also favor secession but the state legislature hasn't allowed them to leave the city. I think it should-- and tear down the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge as a goodbye present. Last year, while Trump lost New York-- state and city-- decisively, he won Staten Island 123,320 (57%)-- a 33% increase over 2016-- to 90,997 (42%). That's Staten Island-- always has been.

Yesterday, the NY Post reported that "Fossella will face off against Democrat Mark Murphy in the general election, along with Conservative Party candidate Leticia Remauro, who came in third in the GOP primary behind Fossella and Matteo. A Democratic hasn’t won an election for island borough president in four decades and Fossella will likely be considered the favorite in the conservative-leaning borough, despite his baggage. He reconciled with his wife, Mary Pat. Murphy, a lawyer, is the son of former Democratic Rep. John Murphy, who served 18 years in Congress before getting caught on videotape taking a $50,000 cash payment in the Abscam sting operation in the late 1970s. John Murphy died in 2015."