By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Hands-down winner of the Robert Young Father-Knows-Best Classic Boxed Set is Eliot Spitzer, who got so much more than the Friday night keys to the family car from Papa Bernie.
The senior Spitzer wins the IRS's rarely-awarded Gift Tax Avoidance Accolade for his $10 million bankrolling of his son's two campaigns for attorney general without having to pay a nickel in generosity levies.
The father-and-son team also walks away with this year's Buddhist Temple Fundraising Fiasco Basket, having collaborated on the most obscene campaign financing scam of 1998. After months, in fact even years, of lying, Eliot finally admitted that papa was loaning him the money to repay the bank loans he took out to cover the tab for the biggest television buys in AG campaign history.
This transparent end-run around state law, which limits Bernie's campaign loans or donations to no more than the cost of Eliot's Princeton degree, was not cited by any editorial boards as grounds to deny him endorsements for the state's highest law enforcement office. In fact, the austere New York Times traded its endorsement for an exclusive confession of Spitzer's grimy loan arrangement. For that, the editorial board gets the Flashlight-in-the-Eyes-Interrogation Notebook, the only journalism prize that comes with a pair of plastic knuckles. Barrett
We never imagined a sweater could get such good press! But Schumer consultant Hank Morris and his trusty pullover have recently scored more column inches than the travails of Kate Moss. Still, Gotham's newest "rumpled genius" is in desperate need of a makeover (we fear that his blazers may have elbow patches). The Wacko Committee awards Morris a GQ subscription and a Maven Makeover at Paul Stuart, where salesmen will help Hank put some sartorial distance between himself and other schlubby Svengalis. Bastone
We hate to kick a guy when he is down, but D'Amato takes home the coveted Wacko of the Year Trophy for his pitiful Senate campaign. If it isn't already, this Arthur Finkelsteinorchestrated debacle will soon become the model of how not to run a reelection campaign. Binging through millions like a couple of dope fiends, D'Amato and Finkelstein were left with a monumental ass whipping to show for their troubles. After a successful 18-year run, this twosome got abruptly canceled and now people snicker at them as if they were Lenny and Squiggy or Milli and Vanilli.
The Fonz's failed campaign will prove to be the converse of the "Shot Heard 'Round the World." Whereas everyone now claims to have been in the Polo Grounds the afternoon Bobby Thomson went yard, soon nobody will own up to working for D'Amato '98, the Lost Weekend of this election season. While L'Affaire Putz head was a classic, and the missed votes ads were spectacularly specious, D'Amato's Sunday morning press conference in front of Manhattan's Holocaust Memorial was particularly gross. The desperate junior senator tried to paint Schumer, a Jew, as bad for the Jews. Like so many other crass D'Amato angles, this one exploded in his face. For his troubles, we award him a copy of Shoah and a new yarmulke bearing the inscription "Alfonse Marcello D'Amato, Former U.S. Senator." Bastone
Giuliani and police commissioner Howard Safir have developed into quite a little team. Nowadays, when wooden Howie speaks, you can barely see Rudy's lips moving. A day before the November 3 vote, the Dyspeptic Duo further distinguished themselves by helping to organize a D'Amato campaign event featuring dozens of cops as props. With the Fonz's campaign flagging, Safir and Giuliani staged a ceremony thanking D'Amato for helping to secure an abandoned Coast Guard facility for use by city police. The timing of the event at Floyd Bennett Field, Giuliani insisted, had nothing to do with the following day's vote, but was "really the last opportunity" to salute D'Amato (read: the last opportunity to bathe D'Amato in a blue light before polls opened).
Because of their behavior, we are calling on the NYPD's public morals division to investigate Safir's and Giuliani's obscene pimping operation. Soiling the shield for D'Amato's benefit, these two jokers look worse than any Midtown South cop caught cooping in a whorehouse. This travesty earns both men copies of Xaviera Hollander's The Happy Hooker. For his continued subservience and McCarthy-like behavior (Charlie, not Joseph), the lighter-than-air Safir also wins the coveted Shari Lewis Sweatsock. Bastone
Norman Rosenbaum, whose brother Yankel was killed during the Crown Heights riot, flew in from Australia to do some last-minute campaigning for D'Amato. Rosenbaum, who this time dragged his mother along, is the GOP's favorite mourner. Maybe he doesn't realize it, but Republicans call Rosenbaum to New York like he was some kind of relief pitcher, the closer who provides a degree of moral authority. Maybe the next time he gets that late-inning call, Rosenbaum, winner of the Frequent Flyer Wacko, will think twice before entering the game. He also gets one Qantas upgrade (good only for westbound travel). Bastone
If you didn't think D'Amato's campaign was of international importance, check out these headlines from Corriere Della Sera, Italy's leading newspaper. Roughly translated, they read: