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Grand old party: Panel picks drunk-driving, cheating, love-child-fathering Fossella to win his old seat back

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The already divisive Republican effort to unseat freshman Rep. Mike McMahon took a bizarre turn last week, when a GOP committee on Staten Island nominated none other than Vito Fossella — the congressman who was run out of town after a drunk-driving arrest and subsequent revelations that he had a secret family in Virginia — to represent the party in the fall election.

The executive committee of the Staten Island GOP nominated former Rep. Fossella — the family-values politician who values families so much that he has two of them — to reclaim the seat he left after news of his double life exploded in the wake of a 2008 drunk-driving arrest.

For now, Fossella — who served a five-day sentence after his conviction on drunk driving charges — was still mum as to whether he would enter the race. There are already two declared candidates, Staten Islander Michael Grimm and Brooklynite Michael Allegretti, who are vying to challenge the Democrat McMahon.

The Staten Island committee nomination of Fossella came just one day after the Kings County Republican Party threw its support behind native son Allegretti, whose family owns Bayside Fuel Oil, and who had previously been endorsed by state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge).

Grimm — a Gulf War veteran and former FBI agent — has the support of Staten Island Republican power broker Guy Molinari, former Mayor Giuliani, and the Kings County Conservative Party.

Fossella doesn’t have the Staten Island nomination locked up — it will be settled at next week’s county convention, John Friscia, the chairman of the Staten Island GOP, said that Fossella had told him he would “certainly consider it.”

Friscia said that executive committee members had decided on Fossella because “the business of the committee is to select the best candidate to run for the seat.”

One insider thinks that the full convention will ratify the committee nomination.

“It sounds like it’s going to be a coronation,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “And he’ll accept. He’s larger than life and a legend in his own mind.”

The Staten Island GOP move threw the race into turmoil.

Craig Eaton, the chairman of the Kings County Republican Party, said that his group’s nomination of Allegretti is firm.

“We have no intention of leaving him,” Eaton said. “He’s young, articulate and well-educated, and would make a good congressman.”

Molinari was less diplomatic.

“What took place [on Wednesday] was shameful for the Republican Party,” he said.

The move won’t help GOP efforts to reclaim the seat, Molinari added.

“Republican candidates have to work harder to be elected,” he said. “What they did was the height of stupidity. You have two good candidates, and now you slap both of them in the face.”

If some Republicans see Fossella as the party’s savior, that attitude reflects unease with the chances of either declared candidate, said Jonathan Judge, the president of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club.

“There’s great concern about the viability of either Allegretti or Grimm to beat McMahon in November,” Judge said. “Vito Fossella had in the past and apparently continues to have political star power that really mobilizes the electorate, and could knock McMahon out, if voters are willing to forgive his transgress­ions.”

He’d need a lot of forgiving and forgetting. After all, Democrats still outnumber Republicans three to two in the district, though the GOP did hold the seat for three decades before Fossella’s fall from grace.

Neither Allegretti nor Grimm seemed taken aback by the possibility of a Fossella comeback. “Nothing is different for me,” said Grimm. “I’m staying focused and I’m not going to be distracted by anything.”

Allegretti spoke in a similar vein. “This race has always been about beating Mike McMahon,” he said, “shedding light upon his voting record and putting the people before politics. There are two candidates in the race for the Republican nomination, not three.”

As for McMahon, his spokeswoman said that the congressman would not be commenting till after Thursday’s GOP county convention.

Fossella did not return repeated calls requesting comment.

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Reader Feedback

Jackie from Bay Ridge says:
The man is slime ball, and I don't love his politics - but you can't deny the fact that he is good looking. Even in his mug shot I get a bit weak at the knees.
May 25, 2010, 6:10 am
John from East Williamsburg says:
I would also do him. But, as soon as he opens his mouth you have to listen to his republican politics, so at that point you kick him out of bed.

He is the ideal republican candidate because his personal life accurately reflects the ideals of the republican party ... and also because he is a garbage.
May 25, 2010, 10:02 am
Harmony from Bedford Stuyvesant says:
Oh, not only does have the face, i can tell you that he's packing some major sausage.
May 25, 2010, 12:15 pm
Scott from Dyker Heights says:
Jonathan Judge shouldn't talk this is the same guy who defended convicted felons such as George Smith, supports tax cheats, fake degree holders, and a father of an attempted cop killer in Arnaldo Ferraro, a pro-Iran supporter, Anti-American Roy Antoun, and lifelong homemaker, failed business leader Lucretia Potter.

Another buddy of his Jim McCall posts daily on a blog Judge runs designed to attack the Kings County Republican Party where Judge has repeatedly deleted comments, and tracked IP's of those who disagree with Judge's views for months.

Jonathan also has lots of campaign debt to former Senate Minority leader Marty Connor not to mention the possible trouble he is in with the campaign finance board over not one but two addresses having the same address listed with a Judge club he is involved with.

Jonathan also is tied to someone named Albert Cleary who's tied to the Mark Fisher death.

Jonathan has been called out for weeks in local newspapers for his poor decision of leaving the Bay Ridge Community Council for a horrible attempt for City Council in which he didn't even make the ballot.

If there's anybody who's more of a slime ball than former congressman Fossella it's Jonathan Judge.
May 25, 2010, 1:20 pm
Harmony from Bedford Stuyvesant says:
@scott, that it is aninteresting take on the situation, but have you seen this guy's major penis? Maybe a viewing (or trial run) of that would change your mind?
May 25, 2010, 2:18 pm
Adam from Bensonhurst says:
Jonathan Judge is the definition a slime ball this guy surrounds himself with scary people, like the father of a man who shot a police officer in the face, and the mother of a man who got 5 years probation for violently and repeatedly kicking a man in the head during a barroom brawl. These people seem drawn to Jonathan. Perhaps he reminds them of their own sons.

And don't forget Jonathan's good friend, George Smith, the ex-con who ran for City Council last year while out on bail for sexual assault.

Jonathan volunteered on Smith's campaign, and continued to defend him, even after the news that Smith had served a year in jail for grand larceny while impersonating a police officer.

Jonathan is 23 years old, still lives with Mommy and Daddy, and is still a college student.

Why would anyone waste their time on such a scary young man?
May 25, 2010, 4:14 pm
Frankie from Bay Ridge says:
Just Remember: Vito Fossella has TWICE the Family Values of most New Yorkers... because he has TWO Families...
May 26, 2010, 9:11 am

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