If life today is lived online, Michael Grimm is but an angry, jut-jawed digital memory.
Now that Congress’s bro-iest bro has finally resigned, having pleaded guilty to the long list of tax charges against him, his Twitter account has been taken down and his congressional website has been redirected to a page listing “current vacancies.” Poignant, in its way.
Of course, the former Republican legislator has left us something by which to remember him: not just the single greatest piece of gonzo journalism ever conceived — when a New York 1 reporter hoodwinked him into making an unhinged threat of murder on live TV — but also a big, fat bill: The race for Grimm’s successor has yet to be scheduled, but the special election is expected to cost about a million dollars.
Grimm ran for reelection this fall in the 11th District, which includes Staten Island, even as he was dragging around a twenty-count indictment for various crimes related to tax evasion. He resisted calls, even from within his own party, to bow out of the race for the sake of basic decency. But the former Marine soldiered on, even earning the endorsement of the Daily News in a delightful editorial that pitched his seemingly imminent imprisonment as a feature and not a bug. “Should he be convicted (of the many, many charges against him), Grimm has promised to resign, paving the way for a match between two fresh candidates,” the editorial read. “All the better.”
Then, in the kind of result that makes your heart hurt for the future of this big blue spinning marble, the former FBI G-man known as Mikey Suits won his reelection. When he finally pleaded guilty to the charges against him, less than two months after his victory, he ensured that the empty seat he left behind would be filled by way of a special election.
Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan is already considered to be the frontrunner in that race. Donovan, you’ll recall, is the prosecutor who led a grand jury inquiry into the death of Eric Garner last fall. Based on polling done after the grand jury cleared Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Garner, Staten Island voters are not likely to be bothered by Donovan’s handling of the case.
Here is the Daily Show running down what will, God willing, be the last segment on Michael Grimm.