Off Main Street /

The off beat side of the news

The Buffalo News - - CITY&REGION - In ‘Bat­tle of the In­dicted,’ Collins lost ... or is it won? Off Main Street is writ­ten with con­tri­bu­tions from Jerry Zrem­ski, Stephen T. Wat­son and Bar­bara O’Brien.

Rep. Chris Collins ap­pears to have won his bid for re-elec­tion, but he fin­ished third in a more ig­no­ble con­test: The bat­tle of the in­dicted.

Vot­ers in New York, Cal­i­for­nia and New Jersey on Tues­day all re-elected law­mak­ers who have faced fed­eral crim­i­nal charges. But Collins, a Clarence Repub­li­can who is charged with felony in­sider trad­ing, had by far the nar­row­est win.

Sen. Robert Me­nen­dez, a New Jersey Demo­crat who sur­vived fed­eral cor­rup­tion charges af­ter a trial ended in a hung jury and the gov­ern­ment dropped its case against him, de­feated his Repub­li­can op­po­nent by 9.6 per­cent­age points.

Rep. Dun­can Hunter, a Cal­i­for­nia Repub­li­can who faces a 60-count fed­eral in­dict­ment charg­ing that he was us­ing cam­paign funds for per­sonal pur­poses, de­feated his Demo­cratic op­po­nent by 8.6 points in a con­ser­va­tive dis­trict in the south­ern part of the state.

But as of the most re­cent count, Collins leads by only 2,692 votes, or 1 per­cent, in his race against Grand Is­land Town Su­per­vi­sor Nate McMur­ray, a Demo­crat.

Pick six items for friends

J. Peter­man, meet Nathan Peter­man.

Yes, the Bills quar­ter­back, who fires touch­down passes to his team­mates and mem­bers of the op­pos­ing team with equal pro­fi­ciency, has his own cloth­ing line. No, that’s not the setup to a joke. We’re not sure how long Peter­man – a ge­nial sort whose on-field strug­gles have made him a punching bag here and na­tion­wide – has sold T-shirts, one­sies and fleece blan­kets on­line.

But we first heard about it from Slate’s sports pod­cast, “Hang Up and Lis­ten.” This week’s episode, “The Worst Quar­ter­back Ever Edi­tion,” fea­tured hosts Josh Levin and Ste­fan Fat­sis and guest Nick Greene glee­fully dis­sect­ing The Peter­man Ex­pe­ri­ence. (The seg­ment starts 23:20 into the episode.)

Fat­sis asked Greene if he’d bought any­thing from the of­fi­cial Peter­man store, and Greene said, “No, but Christ­mas is com­ing.” (Are th­ese gifts for rel­a­tives you don’t re­ally like?)

The items fea­ture one of three dif­fer­ent lo­gos, Fat­sis noted, “And I’ve gotta say, they’re pretty classy.”

Among the items for sale is a $29.99 throw pil­low.

Un­der the cir­cum­stances, maybe call it an over­throw pil­low.

The lim­i­ta­tion of stat­ues

The dis­agree­ment over the bust in Buf­falo’s Mar­tin Luther King Jr. Park has reached NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Mey­ers.”

There’s a pe­ti­tion drive and cam­paign to re­place the bust with one that looks more like King, but the sculp­ture was never sup­posed to look ex­actly like him, ac­cord­ing to those who or­ga­nized the ef­fort to erect the sculp­ture 35 years ago.

In her “Am­ber Says What” seg­ment elec­tion night, “Late Night” writer Am­ber Ruf­fin men­tioned Buf­falo lo­cals were com­plain­ing that the statue in Mar­tin Luther King Park looks noth­ing like the slain civil rights leader.

“I was like, how bad could it be?” she said.

Then she saw a photo of the bust in the park.

“Whaaaat?” she said, laugh­ing. “That guy looks noth­ing like Mar­tin Luther King.”

And then Ruf­fin de­liv­ered her punch­line: “You know who looks more like Mar­tin Luther King? This guy.”

And she pointed to a head­shot of Mey­ers.

Wait un­til she sees Scary Lucy.

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