Ok, hotshot. Youre a big-time communications guy; dealt with everything from the shut down fight to Iraq. What would you do if you were hired to help Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) in his current situation.
To review the bidding, Rep. Fossella was arrested in beautiful downtown Alexandria on the evening of May 1. According to Jonn Arundels reporting in last weeks editions:
An Alexandria Police arrest report said that Fossella was arrested near Seminary Road around 12:15 a.m. May 1 after he went through a red light.
During roadside sobriety tests administered by Alexandria Police officers, Fossella stumbled and struggled with the alphabet.
I was asked about that on a radio program the next day an I said something useful like, Grown-ups make grown-up mistakes. If he has a drinking problem, he should immediately seek help and make certain his constituents are fully aware of the situation.
What I did not understand at the time was that Rep. Fossella had made a REALLY grown-up mistake.
This all came out because he told the arresting officers that he was on his way to pick up his four-year-old daughter to take her to the hospital. It turns out the four-year-old lives in Staten Island. He was actually on his way to that continuing hotbed of media activity, Cameron Station and well, you know the rest.
So now the DWI charge is still a problem, but it is not THE problem.
If he pleads guilty this week and gets the expected five day stretch in the local pokey, his lawyers can probably arrange for it to be during the upcoming Memorial Day district work period, which is Congress-speak for vacation. He could don the official jumpsuit this Saturday and be out by Wednesday. According to the official House of Representatives web page the Members dont resume their back-breaking work schedule until June 2, so he would have plenty of time to recover before taking up his duties as the Representative of the aptly named 13th District of New York.
The bigger problem, as anyone who has been married for longer than seven hours knows, is the issue of Mrs. Mary Pat Fossella. The Cameron Station family, led by Ms. Laura Fay, knew about the Staten Island family, but it does not appear the Staten Island family was similarly informed about the Alexandria branch.
If Mary Pat begins thinking that Laura and Vito have been laughing at her during all this time, Vito would be wise to have the Staten Island house searched for serrated knives and pinking shears (if you know what I mean and I think you do).
The reality of the situation is this: Mary Pat will ask for and be granted a divorce from Vito.
If you look at even the New York papers, you will see they are down to reporting which events he has gone to (a reception at Mayor Bloombergs and a meeting of the Staten Island Conservative Party) and which he has not (the First Communion party of their goddaughter on Staten Island).
The betting line here is: Fossella will continue to serve as a Member of Congress and will run for a seventh term in November.
What will the outcome be? Dont know. Thats why they hold the elections.