Volume 79, Number 42 | March 24 - 30, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Comic-turned-candidate ‘outs’ gov:
When David Paterson became governor two years ago after Eliot “Client No. 9” Spitzer abruptly resigned amid a hookers scandal, Paterson was quick to fess up to his own past adultery, as well as former drug use, trying to come clean and head off digging into his background. Regarding cocaine, Paterson said in an interview with NY 1 at the time, that he only had “tried it a couple of times” when he was “about 22 or 23.” However, Randy Credico, whose long-shot Senate campaign against Chuck Schumer is profiled in this week’s issue of The Villager, told us that Paterson once boasted to him that his coke consumption was far more than just “a couple times.” Credico said he had told some of his friends the story before, but never anyone in the media until us. Flashback to 2005, shortly after the Republican National Convention, when Credico was a hot political comic on the New York scene, doing the funniest George W. Bush impressions in town. All the politicians were flocking to see his “Satire for Sanity” act, which was being heavily pitched by Randi Rhodes on Air America. One night Credico was doing his shtick at the now-defunct Rocky Sullivan’s bar, at 29th St. and Lexington Ave, and in walked Paterson, who was then the state Senate minority leader, along with state Senator Eric Schneiderman. “I had done Schneiderman’s birthday,” Credico recalled, noting all the politicians in the room were nervous he would do impressions of them. When Paterson came in, Credico — who admits to having formerly had a serious cocaine habit — was doing drug jokes, like, “I tried cocaine for 25 years — it didn’t work out.” Or how he simultaneously supported both the Sandinistas and the Contras — the former ideologically and the latter with all the lines and eight balls he was doing. Paterson is known for his funny bone, so Credico invited him onstage and they did dueling impressions of characters from “My Three Sons.” He and Paterson are about the same age, so they have a shared TV memory, he said. “We’d go back and forth,” Credico said. “I was MacMurray [‘Steve’] and Paterson was Demarest [‘Uncle Charlie’], and he killed. He wiped the room out. He got more laughs that night than any comic, including me.” Afterward, Credico said Paterson told him in an aside, “I’ve done more cocaine than you have,” to which Credico responded, “No you didn’t — if you did as much as me, you’d be dead.” As for why he’s spilling the beans now, Credico said he’s outraged that Paterson hasn’t given any pardons to low-level drug offenders incarcerated under New York’s still-tough drug laws. The Rockefeller Drug Laws have been reformed a bit, he said, but “only around the edges.” Paterson recently did pardon Qing Hong Wu, who faced deportation for a series of muggings he committed in Chinatown 15 years ago. But Credico said disapprovingly that the governor hasn’t pardoned anyone of his own race. “I don’t like to out the guy on it,” he said, “but he’s not giving clemency to anyone who did the same thing,” i.e. snort blow. “George Wallace gave out more pardons than this guy,” Credico said indignantly. “Hugh Carey gave out 60 or 70 pardons. Governor Al Smith gave out hundreds.” Asked if he thinks Paterson might possibly still be on drugs, Credico said, “I have no idea,” though added, “He certainly acts like it, because he’s so moody and lies a lot. That’s the way I used to be when I was on cocaine.” The Villager requested a comment from the governor’s office, but there was no response by press time. As for Credico’s nascent Senate campaign, it seems to be getting on the radar, at least in Albany, where Credico regularly appears on Fred Dicker’s radio show and is a familiar figure. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, recently seeing Credico in passing, greeted him, “Hey Senator, how you doing?”

‘Green Pier’ plan wilts…sort of:
Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office tells us that the tour of Pier 40, at W. Houston St., last Wednesday did not convince Michael Hurwitz, director of New York’s Greenmarket program, that the site would be an auspicious one for a new Greenmarket. According to Quinn spokesperson Anthony Hogrebe, “GrowNYC has indicated that they do not consider Pier 40 a viable site for their Greenmarket program. We’ll continue to look for other markets that may be interested in locating at the pier and work with GrowNYC to explore any alternative programs that might better suit this location.” Specifically, the group looked at “the pros and cons of a farmers market across the West Side Highway,” according to Quinn’s monthly Community Board 2 report, which was handed out at last Thursday’s full board meeting. “CENYC was not enthusiastic about the location of the pier and the lack of sustained foot traffic,” the report said. GrowNYC — which runs the Greenmarkets at places like Union Square, Abingdon Square and Tompkins Square — until last week was known as the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC). Arthur Schwartz, chairperson of Community Board 2’s Waterfront Committee, said his committee will be gauging the public’s interest on having a market at Pier 40, and, echoing Quinn, said if there is interest, they’ll keep looking for other markets to put there.

‘I was railroaded!’
Billy LeRoy, owner of Billy’s Antiques and Props, received a call at 11 a.m. Fri., March 19, that police were at his shop at E. Houston St. and Bowery, with bolt cutters. LeRoy arrived only to be arrested and to watch representatives of the M.T.A. pack up and haul away the 96 old subway signs that he had on hand, signs just like the ones he had been selling for more than 10 years. The M.T.A. says the signs are being sold illegally, but LeRoy insists he has been acquiring them from an M.T.A. subcontractor who bought used signs from the agency. Unfortunately for LeRoy, the M.T.A. now says the subcontractor lost his contract but has continued selling the signs illegally, therefore, LeRoy’s signs are illegal. LeRoy said the arresting officers were gentlemen, but he had to go through the criminal justice system, was held at The Tombs, and hauled before a magistrate, who released LeRoy without bail. “My question is why did the M.T.A. not contact me for more than 10 years and tell me I couldn’t sell the signs, not even old beat-up ones?” LeRoy said. He will soon have his day in court where he can tell it to the judge.


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