The Ubiquitous Candidate

In the final days of the primary, Chuck Schumer is everywhere

Schumer's public schedule is also dwarfed by the peripatetic Green's jaunts. But then again, odds are Schumer will be invading your living room several times a night. The Senate candidate has become such a ubiquitous presence on NY-1, you half expect him to deliver the "Weather on the 1's."

The day before Schumer did his Harlem church circuit, he was in Lockport headlining a small rally for a slate of Niagara County Democrats. Held on a breezy ribbon of grass near the local marina, the picnic was organized in response to a recent swanky D'Amato fundraiser that was attended by Giuliani and cost $1000 a head. By comparison, the Democratic soirée featured hot dogs, homemade pizza, and Sweet Valley Cola.

A succession of candidates addressed the crowd, speaking from under the green and white awning of a 1978 Dodge Cruiseair. The local assembly candidate must have missed the Senate candidate's commercials because she referred to him as "Chuck Shumner."

When Schumer took the mike, he made sure to mention that he supports the state resolution that would bring gambling to the economically depressed county. In fact, he called on D'Amato to "light a fire" under Pataki to call a special session of the legislature and to get the gambling measure passed. He also pointed guests to a stack of phony $1000 bills on one picnic table. D'Amato's picture was in the center of the xeroxed currency. "I hope you all saw this," Schumer said, "it's a great thing." He then read an ad from the local paper announcing the picnic. "Save $1000," the ad said. "Didn't have $1000 to meet our current U.S. Senator? Then come meet our next U.S. Senator for free." For Schumer, the $13 Million Man (and counting), this must have seemed like quite a bargain.

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