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Editorial July 11, 2013  RSS feed

EDITORIAL

For years, Americans who are tired of the two major political parties and their reindeer games have wished for a third party to join the ranks. They may finally get their wish, as the roots for a new kind of political party have taken foot in New York City, the recognized trendsetter of American culture.

Call it the Porn-Shameless Party. Its champions are former elected officials who resigned in disgrace due to scandals which brought great embarrassment to their constituents—and now have the audacity to run for elected office once again, hoping voters will forgive and forget their misdeeds.

Seemingly leading the Porn-Shameless Party is former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who derailed his own political career by tweeting provocative images of himself to women. After two years away from the spotlight, Weiner wants to be mayor.

Following right behind Weiner is former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a.k.a. Client Nine, who stepped down in 2008 amid his involvement in a prostitution scandal. He now has his sights set on becoming the city’s next comptroller.

That’s two former political heavyweights tarnished by scandal seeking two of the three major citywide elected posts. All we need now is for another disgraced politician to step up and make a bid to become public advocate, and we’d have a full Porn-Shameless Party ticket for November.

Fortunately for us, New York City and State are full of disgraced politicians eligible to run as the Porn-Shameless Party’s public advocate nominee.

Former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, accused in a cringe-inducing ethics commission report of sexually harassing female interns, would be a perfect candidate for public advocate—but he’s busy pursuing a City Council seat.

Incarcerated former State Sen. Hiram Monserrate—who embezzled non-profit funds for his political campaigns and beat up his girlfriend—would be another good fit for the Porn-Shameless Party. The fact that he’s in prison shouldn’t stop him; an expelled Congressman from Ohio named Jim Trafficant once sought re-election from inside a jail cell.

New York City is lucky enough to have a former president among its ranks—and it just so happens that Bill Clinton had his own sex scandals during his presidency. He never resigned in disgrace, but he’d still make a great public advocate under the Porn-Shameless Party banner.

Here’s the sad part in all this: Weiner and Spitzer have a good chance to become the city’s next mayor and comptroller, respectively—and so does the unnamed disgraced politician who may run for public advocate. Voters seem all too willing to forgive and forget their previous betrayal of the public trust.

Some voters just don’t care about what a politician did in the past, and others have seen enough scandals and ineptitude gripping government that they’ve come to accept the misdeeds and shenanigans as being par for the course.

We can forgive disgraced politicians as people do, but they had their chance at leadership and they blew it. They had the public trust, and they betrayed it. If voters give these pols another crack at elected office, who’s to say they won’t do it again?

Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.