The 1998 Wacko Awards

Launched almost 20 years ago, the Wacko Awards are presented on a periodic basis to a wide array of nincompoops, boodlers, putzheads, and other undesirables. Just about everyone who is anyone in New York government and politics has a Wacko on their mantel, from A (l Sharpton) to Z (enia Mucha). As for the Wacko name, well, we appropriated it from then mayor Ed Koch, who was fond of using the term to describe his many critics ("Carol Bellamy? She's a waaaaaacko!!!").

This year's Senate race between Alfonse D'Amato and Charles Schumer brought out the worst in many participants and observers. Which is a shame, since there are so many deserving candidates, yet a limited number of Wackos. These are the chosen ones.

The Alexander J. Butterfield "Taping-Is-a-Way-of-Life" Watergate Recorder goes to Hilton Hotel security, which leaked these Nixonian transcript excerpts. On election night, Al D'Amato, Ed Koch, George Pataki, and eight others were trapped for 20 minutes in a six-person elevator while a ballroom of diehards waited for D'Amato's concession speech. A bug installed with the cooperation of the NYPD picked up this exchange:

D'Amato: Are the returns in from Oswego County? I don't want to go down to the ball room unless we know how I did in Oswego.

Pataki: You won Oswego by 10,000 votes.

Koch: Way-to-go-Oswego!

D'Amato: Thank God that fat fuck Finkelstein's not on this elevator. We wouldn't be able to breathe. You know what his problem is? Too many fees for too long. How about him taking off for Carolina the last two weeks of the campaign so he could bury Faircloth too? An absentee consultant who gave me nothing but an absentee campaign. Let's send him to Mongolia.

Pataki: Wait a minute, Al, he did my campaign too. Wasn't it nice of him to be so positive?

D'Amato: Ice the ice-storm fuck or I'll ice you. You don't know what mano a mano is, goulash-head. Debate me and I'll make you eat Zenia's script. I'm telling ya to make Finkelstein an offer he can't refuse.

Elevator stops but no doors open. D'Amato, pressed against the buttons in the crowded elevator, claims to hit the open-door button without response.

Koch: You can't count on an elevator in this town ever since Rudy instituted that new self-inspection system. When I was mayor...

D'Amato: Don't mention Giuliani to me! He's a curse. I was better off when he was trying to indict me than when he endorsed me. He's a pasta-head.

Mama D'Amato (crushed against the back of the elevator): Al, watch your language about that prick.

Pataki: I hate being stuck. This is worse than a late budget. I wanted to be home in Garrison by midnight.

D'Amato: Quit whining. You even whine outta the side of your mouth. You need a lip operation. Remember, I made you and I can break you, you geek. How'd I do in Tioga County? I don't want to go out there unless I know Tioga won't put me over.

Pataki: You won by 5000. But Tioga's no Brooklyn.

Koch: Terrific-Tioga!

D'Amato: Speaking of Brooklyn, what the fuck happened to the Jews, Ed? Your king shtick is as tired as your judge show. Your three commercials got me exactly three votes. Swiss Bunk! Crown Pits! The only war between blacks and Jews is to see which one can deliver a bigger number to Chuckie. Fuck 'em both. Even the hats gave me nada.

Koch: I can't hold. My bladder can't take this shit.

A voice comes over the sound system piped into the elevator. It is the voice of Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani: Our supersensitive security system has determined that someone in this elevator has his finger on the close-door button. This is worse than blocking an intersection. It's worse than gumming up a sidewalk. A jammed elevator door is like a broken window. It is an attack on our quality-of-life.

D'Amato (suddenly on his tiptoes, lifting his index finger in the direction of Giuliani's voice): UP YOURS, RUDY!

The door springs open. —Wayne Barrett

The DJ working election night at Republican headquarters at the Hilton is the recipient of the That Shit Is Wack Wacko for his performance on the one-two's. With tunes bouncing from the Rocky theme to Van Halen to KC and the Sunshine Band, we thought we had been transported to Leonard's of Great Neck (minus the flaming cherries jubilee, of course). But, on the night of a crushing—and rare—GOP defeat, we did give the DJ some props for slip ping "New Sensation" into the playlist a couple of times. We saw this not only as a tribute to departed INXS frontman Michael Hutchence (rumored to have dropped via autoerotic asphyxiation), but as a hint at what may have been keeping D'Amato from conceding. For his work, the GOP DJ receives Kid Capri's new album, Soundtrack to the Streets. Study up, cuz. —William Bastone

Also performing at the Hilton was Queens Democratic assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, there to salute D'Amato and George Pataki. While pundits have mocked Schumer for his klutzy two-step when Hillary Clinton was in town (it was as if Chuck danced like Elaine on Seinfeld), the portly Seminerio gets the Gene Gene The Dancing Machine Cup for his rump-shaking onstage dance with GOP hotty (and Westchester County district attorney) Jeanine Pirro. It would be best for all involved if the tubby turncoat restricted such movements to the area in front of his bedroom mirror. For his efforts, Tony gets a free class at Arthur Murray (not redeemable, however, for lambada or macarena lessons). —Bastone

Next Page »
New York Concert Tickets