Main | Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Leading Voice Of District 4

The corner of 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, 8AM

This is one more in a long string of mornings in which I encounter a politician at the entrance to my subway stop. Sometimes they've been aspiring district attorneys or judges, but for the last several days they've been City Council candidates. Their lackeys work as an advance warning system, standing far down the sidewalk from the subway entrance, giving you a steady patter of announcements that you are about to encounter Mr. So & So and that he'd love to chat and shake your hand.

I usually nod and keep my head down, not exactly ignoring the candidates as I pass them, but certainly not allowing them to engage or delay me. I make a mental note of their appearance, and occasionally will accept a flyer, unless I can manage to avoid it.

There's a reason that my subway stop is so popular. Just look at this map. District 4 comprises some of the priciest real estate in the entire world. District 4 IS the Upper East Side, with more millionaires and billionaires that can be counted. And there's only one subway that services this side of town. Even the wealthy take the subway in NYC, it's the great equalizer. I wonder how much time these guys spend glad-handing and flyering down on the south end of District 4, down there around the projects, or around Stuyvesant Town.

A few times I've been charmed by a candidate. There's a young man named Dan Garodnick who is sometimes at the 68th Street station with his elderly father, who encourages passers-by to "Go meet my boy!" or "Vote for MY son!" But as is usual with my sort of electoral luck, even when I get moved by something gimmicky like that old man, it's for naught, because I don't live in District 4. I live just east of its border, in District 5.

District 5 comprises the decidedly less deluxe blocks of the Upper East Side, up into Spanish Harlem, as well as Roosevelt Island and its sprawling complex of nightmarish chronic care public hospitals. I haven't run into any politicians on my end of 70th Street, even though the Prada flagship store is on the other end. Don't get me wrong, it's a great, comfortable little nabe, but with each block you proceed toward Central Park you move up one tax bracket.

Today's sidewalk politician is a bland-looking young man named Patrick Murphy. As usual, one of his handlers tells me, 'Hey, that's Patrick Murphy! Go meet your next Councilman!" I nod at Mr. Murphy, but sidestep his outreached hand. In defeat however, I do accept his flyer from his nearby campaign drone. I take the flyer into the subway station and start to read it on the train.

Patrick is 100% pro-choice. He will fight any effort to erode women's hard-fought liberties.

OK, Patrick, with you so far.

Patrick will fight to protect key tenant protections. As a former rent-stablized tenant, he knows first-hand the critical importance of affordable housing for middle-class taxpayers, who are the backbone of this city.

Hmm, kinda cloying with that "backbone" part.

Patrick spent 15 years in the marketing services industry, advising companies such as AT&T, American Express and Quaker Oats.

Selling yourself as a politician is just a version of creating a brand-identity and selling it, I can see the fit.

BUT THEN:

Patrick is the past president of the NYC Log Cabin Republicans, the leading voice for tolerance and inclusion in American politics.

THUD

The leading voice? THE LEADING VOICE? Oh, Patrick! Oh, Miss Girl Honey Sweetcakes! You have GOT to be fucking KIDDING us! You have seriously got to be pulling our FUCKING leg! You are, aren't you, Patrick? AREN'T YOU???

In typical Log Cabin fashion, nowhere on Patrick Murphy's two page color flyer does the filthy shameful word "gay" make any appearance. And once again, I regret that my block doesn't fall into District 4, because holy JEEBUS would I enjoy voting against Patrick Murphy. Stupid District 5.



EDIT: The Gay And Lesbian Victory Fund has endorsed Patrick Murphy for District 4, over the 4 Democratic candidates.

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