G.O.P. Riding Dead Horse? The Dakota Indians used to say that when you discover that you're riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
The Brooklyn Republican Party might wish to consult that piece of wisdom before it attempts to gallop on its candidate in the 10th Congressional district, Harvey Clarke.
From what we're told - and neither Clarke nor Republican Party Officials have denied this - Clarke only recently became a US Citizen.
When we informed a Republican leader that the US Constitution requires seven years of citizenship to serve in Congress, the reply was, "I'll be damned!"
Did Clarke conceal this from party officials who tapped him to run against Ed Towns? Given that Clarke teaches political science at Pace University, and aspires to be a constitutional scholar, it's quite possible that he knew about the seven year thing.
"I teach government and International politics," Clarke told a student reported in an interview published last month. "The thing that fascinates me the most is the Constitution. Some day I want to write my Ph.D. thesis on some aspect of the constitution. I think it's one of the most important documents ever written.
Clarke, who lives on East 59th Street and Avenue J, came to the US from Jamaica in 1980. He was chosen by the Republicans to replace Isabelle Jefferson, who never intended to run but agreed to occupy the ballot line until her party could find a replacement.
Earlier, party officials were ready to give Sam Sloan of East New York the nomination, only to discover his raunchy Web site. Sloan still thinks his site would be an asset to the party, because he could use it to lobby for George Bush.
After checking out Clarke's campaign Web site, Sloan e-mailed us, "Half of his pages do not work. My Web site has 3,024 pages on it and all of them work." (Including the ones about female tribal members who rape men, instructions on how to pleasure a woman, and orgies Sloan organized in college.)
The Clarke situation is another potential embarrassment to Brooklyn Republicans, who didn't aspire to defeat Towns in an overwhelmingly Democratic district, but merely wanted a qualified candidate who represents the party's values.
Regardless of Clarke's citizenship status , he strikes us as something of an ivory tower candidate.
"In my first stump speech when I went out to East New York, I went in with some of the ideas I had spoken about in class and some of the women almost ran me out of there," Clarke told the Pace reporter. "They told me not to come back until I knew what was going on in their community. Ites OK to speak your theory in class, but in the final analysis you must go out in the neighborhood and see the people there."
Here are the petitions I have filed in the United States Supreme Court, in HTML Format: