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Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Best Endorsement Ever
The New York Press has been for years the "other" alternative paper in New York City. If we were using the music style as paper analogy, think of it as punk to the Village Voice's jam band hippie.
Recently, in lieu of clashing adjectives together to create 'unique', but mostly incoherent reviews of bands that play in venues the size of porto potties, the Press has decided to stick its toe into politics, and its coverage has been good.
I don't think an endorsement has ever swayed my vote but, after reading this - I might just vote for Ferrer.
Quite possibly the greatest endorsement I have ever read:
WE'VE ALWAYS LIKED FREDDY
By The Editors
Initially, we favored C. Virginia Fields' mayoral campaign. Her masters degree in social work made her the only candidate with a post-grad degree, which we figured was the closest proxy to the real-life experience that the Democratic field collectively lacked. Council Speaker Gifford Miller is a law school drop out and Congressman Anthony Weiner stepped off the SUNY Plattsburgh campus (go Snowbirds) and into Chuck Schumer's arms.
Then we found out that Fernando Ferrer had a masters degree in public administration from Baruch. For the sake of these studies he apparently took hours out of his doubtless busy days heading the Drum Major Institute. [A call to the campaign asking if Ferrer got credit for life experience went unreturned.] Any candidate so humble as to admit that he needs a degree after 22 years in elected office has the stooped shoulders needed to bear the weight of begging funds from Washington, apologizing for his helplessness in the face of national trends and other ceremonial duties of the mayor's office, circa 1990.
And that's doubtless the period from which Ferrer derives his vision, such as it is. When David Dinkins first ran for mayor, the phrase that floated around was "David's turn." He'd served in just about every bs office there was, and was left with nowhere to go save Gracie Mansion. And now it's Ferrer's turn. At least Dinkins was a sharp dresser.
Perhaps part of Ferrer's troubles in gaining traction with voters—difficult to explain given his compelling message of, well, something or another—can be explained by his limited experience in competitive elections. Ferrer first gained elected office in 1982, when he ran for a newly-drawn council seat and had his two would-be primary foes tossed off the ballot. Like every other non-puppy-sodomizing incumbent, he then in effect had the seat for life. Things got better when Ferrer's former mentor, Bronx Beep Stanley Simon, resigned in the face of corruption charges. The clubhouse then elevated Freddy, who promptly threw out Simon's corrupt hacks, but soon replaced them with his own.
Which brings us to Freddy's first run for mayor in 1997. Jarrett Murphy wrote in the Voice earlier this year that Ferrer "dropped out in the middle of May, after scenes of a nearly empty Ferrer fundraiser hit TV." But that's only half the story. Our sources tell us that the fundraiser, featuring then-"NYPD Blue" star Jimmy Smits, was a huge and packed success, raking in $400,000. But when NY1 came to film the thing, they got the business at the door, and retaliated by shooting one empty table and then reporting that the event was a bust.
Why has Freddy—who has footage of the event—never responded to this NY1 report, other than by dropping out of the race? Humility.
Finally, a mayor who can turn the other cheek. Ask yourself: Who would Jesus vote for? (Hint: not the Jew.) In fact, when informed of this endorsement, a spokeswoman replied that the campaign is not focused on "that gotcha moment." Finally, a politician with no horse sense at all.
This year's empty table was an empty podium in Harlem. Bloomberg may not have bother to show, but Ferrer took the time to debate against conservative candidate Thomas Ognibene, who was polling at less than one percent (which is even worse than Freddy).
Our Azi Paybarah has alluded to the press' polite conspiracy to keep their rose-colored glasses on for just one more week. As one prominent national political consultant we spoke with put it, "When Bloomberg losing the Olympics gets spun as a win because it takes the issue off of the table, you know the fix is in."
Which perhaps explains why Ferrer has had difficulty getting his message of something or another out, even with ads featuring the mayor helping to satisfy the president's needs, financial and—how shall we say this?—spiritual.
And so it is that Freddy needs our help. His newspaper endorsements consist of El Diario, Amsterdam News and Gay City News. We're honored to add our name to this list, and offer the all-important escort-seeking demographic.
As the largest English-language paper to endorse Ferrer, we're offering him this next sentence.
Fernando Ferrer is the mayor New York needs to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all New Yorkers.
And, we might add, to ensure that we no longer have two New Yorks, but one grand city to rival Newark, we need Freddy Ferrer.
We invite Ferrer to use either of the above sentences in his advertising, should he manage to actually place ads on the air, rather than merely show them to reporters. We'd recommend using the first one, though.
We're not sure who Press staff writer Jim Knipfel is voting for, but if he's sincere in his desire to see the return of 1988, surely Freddy is his man. Giuliani might have tamed this ungovernable city, but the billionaire bachelor has sterilized it. When's the last time anybody had fun on 42nd Street? Danced on the D train? Or had a great story about getting pistol-whipped?
The city we love has been slapped by the invisible hand and the fickle forces of decency and dullardry. Where is the life-and-death adventure of a late night commute? The sublime (in the Kantian sense) life of the Other New York?
If we may steal an "idea" from many of our favorite sci-fi movies, it takes a non-entity to defeat an android nanny technocrat.
Yogi Berra once replied, when asked if ate at a certain hot-spot, "Nobody goes there any more—it's too popular." Perhaps he was looking ahead to Bloomberg's New York. With Ferrer, we can again say, "Good riddance!," to all the hangers-on and their disposable, taxable incomes.
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