One of the most confusing outcomes in last week’s election was the race for the House seat from New York’s 15th congressional district between Republican incumbent Michael Grimm and Democrat Domenic Recchia, which Grimm won by more than 13,000 votes.
Grimm made headlines last January when he threatened to throw NY1 reporter Michael Scotto over a balcony railing in the Capitol after the State of the Union address.
He was indicted on 20 counts of federal mail, wire and tax fraud in April as the result of a two-year investigation alleging that he had filed fraudulent tax returns, hired undocumented immigrants to work in a restaurant that he was a partner in and failed to pay for workman’s comp insurance for them.
Still the voters of Staten Island reelected him.
A column in a Staten Island newspaper might explain what happened. It suggested that the voters were suspicious of the timing of the indictment which came days after the deadline for the party to select another candidate to replace him.
Columnist Daniel Leddy wrote:
“None of those endless ads lambasting Grimm for having been indicted had any relevance to his fitness for office unless one equates indictment with guilt. By doing precisely that, the ads withheld the presumption of innocence from a U.S. Congressman while their Democratic sponsors routinely obsess over the supposed constitutional rights of accused terrorists.”
Leddy went on to say that voters were further inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt after Judge Pamela Chen denied a defense motion late in October, requesting details from the prosecution that they said would show that Grimm was being prosecuted selectively and vindictively. However, Chen’s ruling said that his attorneys had not demonstrated that there was any indication of wrongdoing by prosecutors in the case.
Apparently, Staten Island voters are suspicious of government to reelect a man who has publicly demonstrated a propensity to violence and who is now under indictment on federal criminal charges.
h/t: Huffington Post