Embattled New York Congressman Vito Fossella (R)'s political career has gone up in smoke in just one short week.
It was bad enough when Fossella, the last remaining Republican Congressman from New York City, was arrested last week for DWI. "Vino" Fossella, as the New York Daily News has seen fit to dub him, blew a .17 into the Breathalyzer, twice the legal limit, and apparently had some trouble with his ABC's:
Mr. Fossella, who was driving a white Honda Civic, was stopped about 12:10 a.m. on Thursday, and told a police officer he had had two or three glasses of wine about two hours earlier. Mr. Fossella was asked to recite the alphabet between the letters D and T. "The subject immediately started and said ‘A, B,’ " the officer wrote in his report.
After the officer explained the test again, Mr. Fossella started: "D, E, F, H, G, H, I, J, L," and then was able to finish.
If found guilty of drunk driving, he faces a mandatory five days in jail, at the minimum. Frankly, that is now the least of his problems. Seems that the good Congressman, married with three kids, has a daughter from an extramarital affair. The mother of his daughter, Laura Fay, was the woman who provided bail for Fossella after his arrest, after Fossella had told the arresting officer that he was "picking up his daughter", and listed the street where Fay lived as his destination. After several days, Fossella has now publicly admitted the affair and his paternity:
"I have had a relationship with Laura Fay, with whom I have a three year old daughter," Fossella said in a statement.
"My personal failings and imperfections have caused enormous pain to the people I love and I am truly sorry.
"While I understand that there will be many questions, including those about my political future, making any political decisions right now are furthest from my mind".
It is pretty clear, however, that Fossella's career is in serious trouble. Already facing a significant Democratic challenge from New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia and attorney Steve Harrison, Fossella is now extremely unlikely to run for reelection. From the Washington Post:
GOP political insiders say Fossella, whose blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit when he was busted at 12:15 a.m. last Thursday, stands little chance of running for reelection at this point, and their Democratic counterparts agree. Buzz on the Hill and around town Wednesday was that Fossella would be announcing sooner rather than later that he won't seek another term in what has quickly become a hotly contested seat for embattled Republicans. Fossella was not voting in the House Wednesday.
The local press agrees:
But one of the state's top Republicans told The Post, "He's not going to
be able to win re-election if he is the father."
Sources said party officials have privately discussed who could best
hold onto the seat for the GOP should Fossella end up in deeper trouble.
Names being bandied about include Staten Island DA Daniel Donovan and
city Councilman James Oddo.
In a slightly Democratic-leaning district (D+0.8), this is yet another potential open-seat nightmare for Fossella's party. After his admission, the biggest question remaining is whether Fossella will finish out his term.
If he does resign before July 1st, New York Governor David Paterson could call a special election in which the state parties would be responsible for picking the candidates, which could lead to all manner of backroom deals brokered behind closed doors. In particular, it's possible that one faction of the state Democratic Party could lobby for a candidate from Staten Island, Fossella's home and the population center of the district. That could leave Recchia and Harrison, the current declared candidates, out in the cold.
But that's all speculation. For now, we know that Fossella is in unimaginable trouble, his political career is sunk, and we have another top-tier race for November.
“Must See” Video For Voters Features Senőr ["Panama John"] McCain’s OWN
“Jeremiah Wright” (Self-Described) “Spiritual Guide” Problem — Rod Parsely
As Sir Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton would say, “This is what we call a ‘gotchya’ moment“. Fair is fair, and as Senőr McCain himself could not contain himself from capitalizing upon the MSM’s targeted assault against the nation’s first front-running black presidential candidate for his association with
controversial half-insane former pastor, Jeremiah Wright; the time has come to introduce to the world, the time has come to introduce the FULLY-INSANE “spiritual guide” and endorser (McCain’s happy to have his endorsement, too, by the way) — PINO (”pastor-in-name-only), Rod Parsely, H/T to MemeOrandum and courtesy of Mother Jones:
Nice guy, huh? Cool “spiritual guide”, eh? It’s dishonest, to say the very least, to hold Barry Obama accountable for the wacked-out words of Jeremiah Wright and give a “pass” to Senőr McCain (born in Panama, raised in Arizona) for his self-declared spiritual guide’s words, as I am sure all level-headed people would agree. Fair enough — let’s hold them BOTH accountable then.
As for Sir Hillary Rodham Diane Clinton, I don’t know of any declaration on her own behalf of claiming any man or woman as her “spiritual guide”, which leads me to believe she must have either been born “naturally spiritual” or has no “spirit” whatsoever coursing through her ice-cold veins. I would personally tend to believe the latter before I would the former but that’s just MOI. Also important to note, Sir Hillary is running around on a rant at this time, claiming white people like her better (Source: USAToday) so she has an obligation to whites to stay in the race. Pretty “spiritual” of her, eh?
“Snips” from the Mother Jones article:
McCain’s Pastor Problem: The Video
WASHINGTON DISPATCH: In a taped sermon, the preacher McCain calls a “spiritual guide” calls on America to see the “false religion” of Islam “destroyed.” Still, the candidate won’t reject Rod Parsley’s endorsement.
By David Corn
During a 2005 sermon, a fundamentalist pastor whom Senator John McCain has praised and campaigned with, called Islam “the greatest religious enemy of our civilization and the world,” claiming that the historic mission of America is to see “this false religion destroyed.” In this taped sermon currently sold by his megachurch, the Reverend Rod Parsley reiterates and amplifies harsh and derogatory comments about Islam he made in his book, Silent No More, published the same year he delivered these remarks. Meanwhile, McCain has stuck to his stance of not criticizing Parsley, an important political ally in a crucial swing state. …”
“… McCain has also refused to reject the endorsement he received from the Reverend John Hagee, a Texas-based televangelist who referred to the Catholic Church as “the great whore” and a “false cult system” and who called Hurricane Katrina retribution from God for the sins of New Orleans’ homosexual residents. But Parsley may be the more politically crucial pastor for McCain. McCain probably cannot win Ohio in November without the support of large numbers of social conservative voters. In 2004, Parsley, whose megachurch boasts thousands of members, led so-called “values voters” to the polls, where they helped propel George W. Bush to victory over John Kerry. If McCain were to repudiate Parsley, he would risk losing Parsley as a surrogate and, perhaps worse, alienate his flock. …”
Sorry, Senőr — Your “pass” has come and gone and the time has come for your association, and even your GREAT FONDNESS for these far-right, religious WACKOS hits the mainstream media, the blogosphere and the airwaves.
Now, faced with a mathematical mountain climb that even Stephen Hawking could not ascend, the Clintons -- and it is indeed both of them -- are just about to paste a bumper sticker on the rear of the collapsing vehicle that carries her campaign. It reads: VOTE WHITE.
Hey, this guy’s in a blue state. Go figure. Representative Vita Fossella is from New York. Today he admitted to having an affair and a child out of wedlock. Oh my! Here’s a bit of the story from CNN:
Rep. Vito Fossella of New York acknowledged on Thursday that he fathered a child from an extramarital affair, answering questions that arose from his arrest on drunken driving charges last week.
“My personal failings and imperfections have caused enormous pain to the people I love and I am truly sorry,” said Fossella, a Republican, who has three children with his wife in Staten Island,
Fossella’s private life came under scrutiny after he was arrested last week in the Virginia suburbs of Washington. Police said his blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit, and he could face a mandatory five days in jail if convicted.
When Fossella was pulled over, police said he told officers that he was going to see his daughter in the area. That prompted questions about who the daughter was.
“I have had a relationship with Laura Fay, with whom I have a 3-year-old daughter,” Fossella said in his statement. It was Fay who got him out of jail after the arrest.
The disclosure clouds Fossella’s political future. He faced a surprisingly tough re-election challenge in 2006, and Democrats were hoping to unseat him this year.
“While I understand that there will be many questions, including those about my political future, making any political decisions right now are furthest from my mind. Over the coming weeks and months, I will continue to do my job and I will work hard to heal the deep wounds I have caused,” he said.
Yeah, man, it’s time to heal those deep wounds. I’m sure your radical Republican constituency is going to be happier that you are merely dallying with a woman than trolling bathrooms, as other Republicans do, but I’m thinking that isn’t going to help you in the long run.
One more Republican with weak moral fiber. That’s my take on it. I hope Rep. Fossella and his family is OK after this disruption he’s caused. But he’s surely not a good candidate for high office, is he?
From the award winning Canadian magazine Walrus: An audio photo essay about the coca farmers in Bolivia and their fight, assisted by the country's President Evo Morales, to keep cultivating the leaf for legal purposes.
Besides being a symbol of Bolivia's indigenous culture, the coca leaf is considered a cure for many ailments and an important source of work for farmers in this poor South American country.
Coca is not cocaine. However, the leaf is the main ingredient for the drug, and the United States and the United Nations would like to see the plant completely eradicated.
Those are fighting words in Bolivia, where coca leaves have been grown and used in their natural form for thousands of years.
....Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, is a former coca grower who has pushed for an increase in the cultivation and legal uses of coca — while still clamping down on the illegal ones.
His new policy, "Coca Yes, Cocaine No." Again, the slideshow is here.
Background on Evo Morales and his efforts to keep coca growing legal is here .
Cindy McCain was asked about releasing her tax returns, this morning on the Today show, and reiterated that she would never release them -- ever -- even if she becomes First Lady: She's managed to get away with it so far (just like the spouse of any[...]
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Karen Tumulty at TIME documents five mistakes Clinton made, and the blogs are abuzz with the incomprehensible lack of a basic understanding of the system by the campaign’s favorite scape-goat, Mark Penn.Naturally, anyone who is paid millions of dollars as a chief campaign adviser should know a thing or two about how this whole nomination [...]
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"Mississippi Drug War Blues" is a story about the intersection of race (Maye is black and Jones was white); the war on drugs; the disturbing increase in the militarization of police tactics; and systemic flaws in the criminal justice and expert-testimony systems.
It is a tragedy in which one man is dead and another may spend his life in prison.
As a result of the efforts of Reason Senior Editor Radley Balko, Cory Maye received new legal representation and his death sentence was changed to life in prison without parole. The legal fight for relief for Cory goes on. A clip from the documentary and status update is below the fold.
If the Mississippi State Court of Appeals denies Maye relief, he'll then appeal to the Mississippi State Supreme Court. If he's again denied relief, he'll begin his federal appeal process in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Mississippi, and then to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
In early 2008, a state district court judge in Mississippi denied attempts by Maye's attorneys to bring in Dr. Steven Hayne for questioning (Hayne, who performed the autopsy of Ron Jones, was a key witness for the prosecution). Maye's lawyers had hoped to question Hayne under oath about recent revelations about Hayne's questionable autopsy procedures and questionable credentials, first reported in reason, then touted by the Innocence Project and its Mississippi chapter. Maye's lawyers do plan raise their concerns about Hayne in the appeal.
Cory Maye is currently housed in Unit 32, the high-security wing at Mississippi's Parchman Penitentiary. His daughter Ta'Corrianna lives in Covington, Louisiana with her mother Chanteal Longino. His son Cory, Jr. lives in Jackson, Mississippi.
See also, TChris' and my prior posts:
Good news. Just found out author Jared Bernstein can join us for a short time. Help me welcome Jared, a progressive economist at the Economic Policy Institute here in Washington, D.C. Jared can discuss anything from "guns vs. butter," to "how the[...]
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Isn’t that just like the GOP? Others hear about not letting 80 and 90 year old nuns vote and they shake their heads and say, “that’s awful.” But the GOP–in this case the Oklahoma State Senate GOP majority–see it as opportunity. Down With Tyranny: All through history, the political left has agitated to expand the [...]
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