Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hammered

Or is it nailed? Regardless, Tom Curley, the former Spa City public safety commissioner joins a dubious list of high-ranking republicans nabbed over the past four months for driving while intoxicated, proving true the axiom what goes around, comes around. And for a slippery individual like Curley, some might proffer that the just comeupance couldn't have happened to a better political figure.

Curley, as the media has taken recent joys in rehashing, is the former City Council member who refused –or rather was goaded by his party into refusing –to dismiss the young and embattled Erin Dreyer, after she abused the power of the deputy public safety commissioner’s position. Curley, as some may recall, was helped into office by Bill Ennis, Dreyer’s father and a behind-the-scenes-republican-heavyweight, who helped eliminate all competition during the 2003 election.

With his DWI, Curley joins a list that includes once up-and-coming Schenectady County Chairman James Walsh –not be confused with the Pataki aide of the same name –who three months ago, was charged twice in one week with drunken driving. And were one looking to tie the Pataki Administration into this party of tipplers, look to Press Secretary Joe Conway, who was nabbed for DWI last month after slamming a state vehicle into a parked car in Albany, then driving off several blocks to contemplate his misdeed.

Granted, things haven’t looked good lately for the Grand Old Party in the Capital Region. With a staunch conservative like John Faso vying for the top politcal seat in a mostly moderate state, the governorship has been all but handed to democrat Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who would probably need to be busted smoking a crack pipe with an under-aged Taiwanese prostitute before seeing any noticeable decline in the polls.

But given the most recent spate of headlines it appears as though things have been bad enough for the party’s heavyweights to keep themselves on steady dosages of –as some police agencies state in their reports –intoxicating liquors.

Just ask John Sweeney, who himself had two recent drags through the headlines; one for knocking them back at a Union College fraternity party in April and another after his son was offered a sweet deal to wipe a felony conviction off his record in October. That deal was presented by visiting Montgomery County District Attorney James Conboy and accepted by visiting Fulton County Judge Richard Giardino, both registered republicans.

Amid these drunken escapades is nestled a nifty little incident of groping, pasted to the forehead of Armando Tebano, the city of Schenectady’s Republican Party chairman, who also serves as the GOP’s county elections commissioner. Although Tebano’s counsel vehemently denies the allegations of third-degree sexual abuse, forcible touching and child endangerment lodged against his client, there’s a 14-year-old girl and a host of police that say he made quite a pass at her while they watched a movie alone at his house.

When listing any charges lobbied against them, it should be mentioned that all politicians are indeed human and ultimately suffer human vices; to characterize any politician as saintly is to not understand the dubious nature of politics itself. But with this caveat, it's a bit uncanny the number of charges levied against some of these ranking members of the party, who should realize from the begining of life in the public spotlight, they shouldn’t be cruising around drunk on a Saturday night looking for some teenage girls to grope.

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