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strip club dude

i voted in new york city’s democratic primary this morning. i voted for kris glen, among others.

i did not vote for strip club dude. who?

victor bernace, candidate for city council in my district.

who sent me a [ahem] lovely postcard asking me to vote for him. it had his skimpy credentials on one side, and a woman in lingerie on the other side. the woman in lingerie was beckoning me to come to his one and only fundraiser.

which was at a strip club. with exotic dancers.

now, i’m telling you, although i admit to being vanilla, i am not a prude. believe me. but there’s a line, and victor bernace has crossed it. how am i to take him seriously? it’s clear that this is a gimmick to grab attention, and he needs it, because his opponent robert jackson, seems to be quite a qualified incumbent. which is why i voted for robert jackson, and not for strip club guy.

i also didn’t vote for brian ellner, who is an out gay man running for manhattan borough president. he has a tv commercial with his partner featured prominently in the “i hug my wife and kids often” part at the end. ordinarily i’d strongly consider voting for him. but i didn’t. vote for him.


because the first half of the commercial is a head shot of george w. bush. the camera pulls back slowly, and we see that bush’s head is pasted onto the naked torso of a middle-aged man. the voice-over: “the emperor has no clothes.”

again. clearly this candidate has a small budget, so he packs as much controversy as he can into a cheap commercial, runs it a few times, and hopes for a lot of publicity. which he got, because one of the local stations refused to run the spot.

don’t get me wrong. he has a perfect right to make and try to air whatever commercial he wants to. and strip club guy can raise campaign money however he chooses within legal guidelines.

but a commercial about george w. bush, much as i hate bush, has precious little to do with being manhattan borough president, other than tangentially.

and strip clubs have precious little or nothing to do with being a city council person.

stick to the issues. and maybe i’ll vote for you.


  1. Reality Check: Without fundraising large amounts of money, the average voter will never know a challenger exists. Mailings, brochures, tv ads cost money and all the qualifications in the world won’t help you reach voters without money. I voted for Ellner, his resume is impressive, he’s worked on numerous landmark civil rights cases. I have a diverse resume: prosecuting drug dealers, civil rights litigation, educator, businessman, union delegate, human rights experience, etc. Challengers will never have equivalent records to elected officials who legislate full time. I do however respect your right to vote on your criteria of "qualifications" of candidates. Hey, rather than all this posting, give me a call and we can argue morality or lines that are crossed over coffee or drinks, lol. 🙂

    Posted on 03-Oct-05 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  2. wow. the wonders of google 🙂 i did read the voter’s guide and compare you with your opponent. "skimpy" in the original post was a poor choice of words on my part, and for that i apologize. and i do believe that i later heard that you donated proceeds from the strip club thing to hurricane relief, so that’s a good thing. i guess my overall point remains that, to my mind, plays for attention get you publicity but not respect. and while it unfortunately does indeed take large amounts of money to run a campaign, i just think there must be a better way to do it than a strip club extravaganza. you had to know that was not a path to victory, especially in this neighborhood. and, believe me, i’m not saying that from a moral point of view, just a common-sense one. ellner’s resume was indeed impressive; i was leaning toward voting for him until that commercial ran. i think that the electoral process has been trivialized enough, and i don’t think these stunts help anything in the long run. but thank you very much for stopping by, and for the dialogue. and i encourage you to run again, because in the end you are probably more qualified as a candidate than i am as a commenter.

    Posted on 03-Oct-05 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

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