Monday, October 29, 2007

Rudy Kuhniani

City Solicitor's Executive Mansion

The short sentence at the end of Jeff Barron’s article on Portsmouth’s passive-aggressive City Solicitor David W. Kuhn in the 10 Oct. 2007 Portsmouth Daily Times reads as follows: “Kuhn is married to his wife, Betty.” Those seven words are the only words about Betty Kuhn in the article.

It is hardly news that a husband is married to his wife. Was Barron hinting at something more, tacking the brief sentence on the way he did? It comes right after 150 words or more dealing with Wendy Jones, the wife of Kuhn’s opponent in the City Solicitor race. In being interviewed by Barron, Kuhn had dragged in Wendy Jones by questioning the propriety of her working in the mayor’s office, and he accused her of leaking information from the mayor’s office that was detrimental to his campaign. What kind of information? He didn’t say, although he admitted it was not confidential information. If Wendy Jones ever released any detrimental information about Kuhn, some allowances must be made. Any information about Kuhn that is not detrimental is hard to find. Very hard. Kuhn told Barron that he was not questioning Wendy Jones’s right to work. “She ought to be able to support her husband,” Kuhn said snidely. We know from Barron’s interview of Kuhn where Wendy Jones works, but we don’t know where Betty Kuhn works, or if she works at all.

There was a time that the news media did not pry into the personal lives of politicians, when they didn’t ask questions about their wives and girlfriends. Those times have long since passed, at least outside of Portsmouth. Senator Gary Hart defied the news media by carrying on openly with his girlfriend Donna Rice on the yacht Monkey Business. The widely publicized photo of Donna on Hart’s knee on Monkey Business ended Hart’s bid for the 1988 Democratic nomination for president. How times have changed!

Out of the Loop

Take the case of Rudolph Giuliani. Like Kuhn, Giuliani is a Republican running for public office. The similarities don’t end there. Giuliani has had three wives, and he was known to have carried on extramarital affairs with other women. His first wife was Regina Peruggi, who happened to be his second cousin. Being an influential Catholic, Giuliani was able to get this marriage annulled by the Catholic Church, claiming that he had thought Peruggi was his third cousin. (Catholics are not allowed to marry second cousins.) “I didn’t know she was my second cousin.” That is an explanation worthy of David Kuhn. In his 10 Oct. interview with Barron, Kuhn said about the Marting Scam, “No one told me a thing about that. I think they should have brought me into the loop at some point. . . . And then when I found out about it, it was really too late to do anything about it.”

City Solicitor on his ass, out of the loop

Kuhn is so sleazy and lazy that he leaves a trail of slime behind him like a snail. That he dragged his opponent’s wife into the campaign through innuendo and hearsay, that he would try to corrupt the electoral process by gift meals is just what we would expect from someone desperately trying to hold on to the moonlighting, $200,000 per-term job he has held for the last twelve years. Last week, Kuhn was prohibited by the Secretary of State’s office from running any more campaign contests for free meals to voters. “I don't know anything about it,” the passive-aggressive solicitor told the Daily Times when asked about the prohibition. Just like he didn’t know anything about Marting’s.

Giuliani’s second wife was journalist and actress Donna Hanover. When Giuliani and Hanover developed irreconcilable differences, he moved out of Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, and moved in with a gay couple. As mayor, Rudy was not nearly as homophobic as he is now as a Republican presidential candidate. The photo of him dolled up like a Norma Desmond should help him get the transvestite vote. Donna Hanover in the meanwhile did not become a recluse in Gracie Mansion, crying her eyes out. Instead she took the lead in the controversial Broadway play Vagina Monologues, which has spawned Penis Monologues and Transgender Monologues. I’m writing Portsmouth Monologues, which I hope to see performed at the Columbia Theater.

Rudy taking a break from War on Terror

Giuliani’s third wife is Judith Nathan, a registered nurse who, while she was his girlfriend, served as his media consultant at $150,000 a year. She now prefers to be called Judy, maybe because it rhymes with Rudy. New York reporters have pointed out that Nathan was previously married twice and at the time she met Rudy she and a daughter by a previous marriage were living with yet another man. Judy is the wife who has called Rudy on the cell phone at least forty times when he is at public forums, as if she wanted to make sure he wasn’t cheating on her. Judy is also the wife who planned to sit in on cabinet meetings should Rudy get elected president and the wife whose resume includes the information that she used to be a pharmaceutical salesperson in the predominantly black Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, peddling anti-depressants.

Although you would never know it if you depended on the media in Portsmouth for all your news, and if you believed those campaign photos in which the solicitor is posing with her, candidate David Kuhn is currently separated from his second wife and reportedly romantically involved with yet another woman.

Although she appears with him in campaign photos and goes door-to-door handing out Kuhn campaign flyers, Betty Kuhn is not living with her husband, or so reliable sources tell me. Unlike Giuliani, Kuhn has not moved out of the executive mansion he previously shared with Betty, but Betty herself has. The properties Kuhn owned used to be listed on the County Auditor’s website in Betty Kuhn’s name; now they are listed in David Kuhn’s. Is there another shoe that's going to drop? Is there another divorce in the offing, a divorce that will take place only after the election for City Solicitor is over? Will we then learn what arrangement Kuhn had worked out with his second wife for the current campaign? Did she get free meals at Bob Evans? I will not wait to find out in the Portsmouth Daily Times, anymore than I will wait for a review of The Vagina Monologues, which was staged at Shawnee State many moons ago. Pass me another anti-depressant.