Meet Your New Local Oligarch!For decades and even centuries, we as a nation have been forced to feign allegiance to that ridiculous “democracy” canard. This year, the Republican Party cuts the crap: We have an oligarchy on our hands, so let’s just be governed by the rich and not pretend otherwise. According to the Times, the GOP, lagging well behind Democrats in fund-raising for 2008, has been “aggressively recruiting wealthy candidates who can spend large sums of their own money to finance their Congressional races.” Splendid idea! In Texas, banker and real-estate developer Francisco Canseco is putting up $711,000 to finance a House campaign; in Illinois’ Fourteenth Congressional District, no fewer than three candidates (including one Democrat) have blown over $300,000 each on the race.
Parsing the Catsimatidis Dis in the ‘Times’Today’s Times profiles mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, who just switched parties to try for a Republican nomination. If you read very closely, you can catch subtle signs that writer Robin Finn is not taking his candidacy entirely seriously. See if you can spot some!
• Headline: “Another Billionaire Who Wants to Be a Mayor” [We’re already cracking up.]
• Lede: “Those black plastic eyeglasses – reminiscent of the magnate Aristotle Onassis ” [Because he is, you know, GREEK. In the real world, Catsimatidis’s glasses look equally like Henry Kissinger’s or Alan Greenspan’s.]
• “But how the heck does their wearer see a blessed thing? In focus, that is.” [Wow, what?]
Mayoral Maybes Ray Kelly and John Catsimatidis Go Both WaysOur City Hall hopefuls’ political affiliations are as about as fluid as a Vassar sophomore’s sexuality. One prospective candidate, Gristedes billionaire John Catsimatidis, switched his affiliation from Democratic to Republican last week — after supporting both Clintons and, in 2000, Gore. Now the Times, in a profile of another possible contender — police commish Ray Kelly — breezily muses: “It is not clear whether Mr. Kelly … would even run as a Republican. Mr. Kelly is not registered with any political party.” The very existence of this choice — hmm, which crew should I run with (or from)? — speaks to a curious local phenomenon: Jumping parties has apparently become a mark of New York City mayor material.
Pills, Pols, and Oprah
• Eight percent of the city’s sexually active teens report using the pill, as opposed to 18 percent nationwide, a city Health Department survey finds, with girls from the South Bronx nearly twice as likely as the nation’s average to have unprotected sex. [1010wins]