Gone Serf-in’?

Serphin Maltese is, thankfully, not my state senator, but he does represent some of Forest Hills as part of his oddly shaped district (warning: PDF), which bizarrely includes some but not all of Forest Hills Gardens, about as cohesive and homogeneous a neighborhood unit as I can imagine. In one of the great paradoxes of local politics, he’s widely known as one of the most conservative members of the New York State Senate despite representing one of the most liberal districts around — he’s been in power since 1989 and has been re-elected nine times. But the tide might be turning. (Oh, God, must resist making horrible “serf/surf” pun.) In 2002 no Democrat deigned to run against him, and he ended up getting a dictatorial 94 percent of the vote. But last year, facing an underfunded unknown whom the Democrats would barely acknowledge, he barely scraped by just 783 votes.

Now rumor has it Eliot Spitzer has decreed Maltese is going down in 2008, and he probably will. But my big question: What took so long? It’s truly amazing how people will continue to vote for someone who doesn’t share their interests or values just because he shows up to cut ribbons and shakes their hand. But that’s politics, isn’t it?

Now to think up a title for this post. No! Can’t use a surf pun! Can’t do it! Can’t do it! Must resist! No — resistance … weakening … I must … but I cannot …



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