by W. Kim Heron
Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick racks up another dubious achievement.
When we heard that Talking Points Memo had picked its second annual Golden Dukes for "great accomplishments in muckiness including acts of venal corruption, outstanding self-inflicted losses of dignity, crimes against the republic, bribery, exposed hypocrisy and generally malevolent governance" ... we just had to find out how "you know who" had fared.
In the national race for Outstanding Achievement in Corruption-based Chutzpah, he didn't even place, with the panelists giving the nod to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, followed by former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and former U.S. Rep. Vito Fossella. (Everyone knows about Blagojevich and Stevens. Last year Fosella decided not to run for re-election from his New York district — which includes Staten Island and Bensonhurst — after a drunk driving arrest and admission he'd fathered a child out of wedlock.)
Best Scandal: Sex and Generalized Carnality, again, our guy wasn't even in the running with winner John Edwards and runners-up former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Mike Carona. (Carona is a former coroner-sheriff of Orange County, Calif., caught up with his wife and mistress in corruption charges.)
Even Best Scandal: Local Venue was a tight race. Kwame Kipatrick tied Steven Lipski for first place until a tie-breaking second-place vote for KK was allowed to tip the scale.
"Steven Who?" we asked, and had to research a little. Seems he was arrested in November for allegedly, as New York's Daily News worded it, "urinating on a crowd of concertgoers from the balcony of a Washington nightclub." At concert of a Grateful Dead tribute band, no less.
To keep things in perspective, Best Scandal: General Interest went to President George W. Bush. Sample comment from panelist Hendrik Hertzberg: "No one can match Bush's global reach or amount of suffering inflicted. ... Though perhaps the highest honors should go to the five Supreme Court 'justices' who staged the coup d'etat that put him in office against the clearly expressed wishes of the American people."