Meet Phil V. Donahue: Patriot, Professional ‘Mean Santa’

Phil V. Donahue

Photo: New York Times

Like anyone else, we always assumed city bureaucrats were dull, passionless paper shufflers. But today the Times proves us wrong by introducing us to one Phil V. Donahue, the director of personnel at the city's Board of Elections and our new favorite person. As you can see, Phil looks like Santa, if Santa joined ZZ Top. He also, the Times tells us, rides his Harley-Davidson lowrider from the Bronx to his office in the morning, belongs to that group of bikers who show up at the funerals of American soldiers, and, most importantly, recently filed a request with his board suggesting that he be sent to Afghanistan and Iraq to help soldiers with their absentee ballots because, he says, "They’re risking their lives for our rights and freedoms and a lot of them aren’t even getting the right to vote, and they’re more affected by the election than anyone." Aw! He wants to go on his Harley, too. But wait — Phil gets even awesomer. Like many New Yorkers, he has a whole other career: "My evil twin is an actor," he told us when we called him up to ask him if he was the selfsame Phil V. Donahue IMDb told us was in an upcoming independent movie, Street Revenge, in which a local street gang finds a briefcase full of money that they later find out belongs to one of New York's biggest crime families. "I play a dirtbag biker named Luke," he tells Intel. "My dirtbag biker partner and I are hired to hold a hostage. She is the daughter of the owner of a waste-management company who will not pay his share to the Godfather. Much bloodshed and destruction come about." Phil has also been in several commercials, he says, and has been known, during the holidays, to appear at parties as a "Mean Santa." We can't think of anyone better equipped to go over to the Middle East and tell those insurgents who's boss. Go, Phil!

Election Official Wants to Help Troops at War Vote [NYT]