With all the political corruption busts in New Jersey recently, I'm thinking of running for mayor of Hoboken. With the campaign now heating up, the timing is right for me to jump into the race. Since I already have nine felony convictions, from shoplifting to counterfeiting to possession of narcotics, I figure I'm way ahead of your more conventional candidates. My campaign slogan will be "A vote for a convicted felon is a vote for total transparency." I know it sounds crazy, but if you think about it, it makes sense. With an expectation of dishonesty already festering in the voting public, why not run a guy who's been inherently dishonest for most of his life? At least everyone will know, from day one, exactly what I'm doing. My campaign platform will be a "tough on street crime" mandate. No sense mucking about with white collar criminals and/or corrupt politicians. There just isn't room in our prisons for such as these, and why mess with the status quo? The trick lies in convincing people that the real problems facing America are caused by street-level drug users, dealers, and prostitutes, and not your average inside trader or banker ripping off taxpayer coffers. I've never known a hedge-funder to tag a subway car or urinate in an alley. White collar crime is, as its name implies, clean crime. Prisons aren't built for the perpetrators of these crimes. Hell, most of them wouldn't survive a month, and there's no money in warehousing dead convicts. That's simple economics. Under this platform, I expect a bevy of campaign contributions from the prison industrial complex as well as Wall Street. I have extensive experience with jurisdictional crime, including the workings of county jails, state corrections departments, and the federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as their respective courts. I've spent many years as an insider, studying the methods, means, and missions of these institutions. With roughly thirty misdemeanor and felony arrests (one loses count), I know firsthand how and why the law works and, more importantly, how to profit from it. With all this street cred I can virtually guarantee that, no matter what my crimes might be as mayor, I'll not be dumb enough to get caught and embarrass the good people of New Jersey yet again. The last mayor of Hoboken, Peter Cammarano, was only in office for three weeks when he got pinched for accepting bribes. All in all there were 44 arrests of New Jersey politicians last July, including a Brooklyn rabbi accused of trafficking in human organs. What a dope. You can't sell a kidney to just any schmuck on the streets, and I can smell a rat from a mile off. I can also promise that any drug use I indulge in as mayor will be strictly on the up and up. With a large inflow of cash I can find plenty of doctors willing to supply me with all the pharmaceutical opiates and amphetamines I can stomach. I'm an important guy in a highly stressful position. I might need a little something-something to take the edge off, right? And if the press gets wind of it, I'll just take a junket to one of them expensive rehabs while they put about that I'm addicted to pain pills and/or diet pills, and I'll come out twenty-eight days later as pale and chubby and clean as a newborn babe. Folks love redemption stories. Now I know what you're thinking. Suppose I overdose while in office? What then? But I tell you truly that even dying in the mayor's chair presents no major problem. The same euphemisms apply. No one would dare call me a junkie, for instance. I am the mayor, after all, and it isn't like I got busted with smack or crank or crack, or even that I got caught with a hooker or a mistress or a gay lover. I was just taking some fairly harmless pills prescribed to me by a series of doctors and made a slight miscalculation in dosage. Nothing sinister whatever, and the funeral procession will be glorious. I promise. The author is a Columbia University MFA candidate.
Columbia Spectator Staff