What’s it all about, Alfie?
It appears that Alfonse D’Amato, a U.S. senator for 18 years, is now staking his reelection on the shaky premise that voters will buy his claim that Chuck Schumer is the absentee landlord of a Brooklyn congressional seat. The Fonz wants you to believe that while he is filling those potholes, Schumer is home snarfing bonbons and watching Mother Love.
Um, as they say up in Chemung County: That dog don’t hunt, buster! Alfonse, your opponent actually has a solid legislative record and probably won’t hesitate to bring out Jim and Sarah Brady to highlight part of it. Wouldn’t it be easier if you, Finkelstein, and Powers just tried to distort the votes he has taken? Focus on fake issues like desecrating the flag. And please do not forget to show Schumer wasn’t there for his fellow Jews at the time of the Gulf War vote.
And, for God’s sake, Al, keep working on that monstrous get-out-the-vote effort that the Republicans love to refer to as “GOTV.” But we’re concerned that those GOP foot soldiers may be greeted by an electorate tired of the D’Amato shtick and armed with their own nifty acronym: GTFOMP (or, Get The Fuck Off My Porch).
How desperate is the Fonz looking? Well, Sunday he stooped to prowling the Hispanic Day Parade with Bronx state senator Efrain Gonzalez, a turncoat Democratic, on his arm. The sleazy Gonzalez, a classic rent-a-pol who backed Rudolph Giuliani in 1997, may be best known for his misdemeanor conviction for selling handgun licenses back when he was in the security guard business. In that mid-’80s case, Gonzalez got away relatively unscathed, since his former wife took the felony fall for the family.
But D’Amato can’t worry about such matters. Right now, he is running, running to the point of exhaustion. At times, he may even feel a bit panicky (what with the thought of extinction looming) and find it hard to breathe. Soon, the room could even start spinning. But relax, Fonzie. Put your head between your legs and exhale slowly. Everything’s gonna be alright, baybee. This, too, shall pass.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 20, 1998