Off Main Street /
The off beat side of the news
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.