Peter Vallone, Jr.
We thought we knew everything there was to know about Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr., but it took a celebrity ping pong tournament for us to discover that as a college student Vallone took on the Chinese national team in an exhibition match on ABC's Wide World of Sports. When Pol Position asked Vallone who won, he simply replied, “they practice ten hours a day and get paid to play, I played a few afternoons a week in the summer.” 'Nuff said.
Yes, the sole member of The Rent is Too Damn High Party, Jimmy McMillan, became a minor sensation when he was invited to a televised debate for the governor's race, even catching the attention of the writers over at Saturday Night Live, who spoofed him.
True, most of the controversy surrounding former State Senator Hiram Monserrate had died down by the time 2010 was underway, but the beginning of the year did see the embattled pol launch a failed bid to keep hold of his state senate seat, as well as a failed bid to take the assembly seat of the man who replaced him. Some people just can't let go.
How entertaining was longshot Republican gubernatorial candidate and Buffalo businessman Carl Paldino on the campaign trail. From accusing his opponent of extramarital transgressions with absolutely no proof and threatening reporters, there was never a dull moment on the Paladino campaign.
Was there anything the “man who never wanted to be governor” could do right this year. The latest news? He owes back rent on a Park Avenue office he shared with the Democratic Party, but that's fairly minor compared to all of the other scandals that plagued him throughout the years. The good news? He finally gets to leave office after the first of the year.
The head of the Kings County Democratic Party, Assemblyman Vito Lopez has always been impervious to scandal, forging ahead with his own agenda regardless of the opposition. But that stubbornness may have finally caught up with him, as the past year saw Lopez come under fire, from challenges to his political stranglehold in Brooklyn to funding for his nonprofit - the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council - to criticisms about drawing a pension and a salary from the state.