Monday, March 05, 2007

Senator Pothole's Big New Pot

Alfonse M. D’Amato, who preceded Chuck Schumer in the U.S. Senate, was affectionately known as “Senator Pothole” for his tireless efforts for constituents on a major issue of the time.

Now he is devoting himself to another--their right to lose the rent money playing poker online. As a lobbyist for the Poker Player’s Alliance, the New York Times reports, he is working to overturn a federal ban on Internet gambling.

“The poor guy at home,” Sen. D’Amato pleads, “can’t bet $50 at home because we pass this law.”

A devoted Republican hack in Nassau County, New York, he became an accidental senator in 1980 by defeating Jacob Javits in a primary. The esteemed Javits, then fatally ill, pulled a Ralph Nader by running on the Liberal Party line, allowing D’Amato to defeat his Democratic opponent by a narrow margin.

In addition to getting road cavities filled, the highlight of his eight-year career was a reprimand by the Ethics Committee for letting his brother use Senate stationery for
pursuing lobbying contracts.

The urge for public service apparently never dies.

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