Opinion: Vito Fossella of House GOP admits to fathering love child

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It’s beginning to look like Rep. Vito Fossella, the only House Republican representing a New York City district, may not have much of a future left in Congress.

Fossella, who’s conservative and married, has admitted to having a 3-year-old love child. This comes a week after he was arrested in northern Virginia on drunk driving charges.


There are some congressional districts where such extracurricular behavior might not be fatal to a political career. His Staten Island district probably isn’t one of them.

Here’s how the Almanac of American Politics describes part of Fossella’s district:

‘Culturally, Staten Islanders are deeply conservative -- more so than in most of New York’s suburbs, and quite a contrast from Manhattanites who live a 20-minute ferry ride away. Taking a cue from Fresh Kills, their motto is apt: ‘Don’t dump on us.’ Not many people here read the New York Times....’

Here’s a Bloomberg News story, by Christopher Stern, on the latest revelation:

U.S. Rep. Vito Fossella of New York admitted having an affair ...

... with a woman and fathering her 3-year-old daughter. Fossella’s relationship came to light after he was arrested in Virginia on May 1 for drunk driving. ‘My personal failings and imperfections have caused enormous pain to the people I love and I am truly sorry,’ Fossella, 43, said in a statement released today by e-mail.... ‘While I understand that there will be many questions, including those about my political future, making any political decisions right now are furthest from my mind,’ his statement said. ‘Over the coming weeks and months, I will to continue to do my job and I will work hard to heal the deep wounds I have caused,’ Fossella said in the statement.

Fossella, who first won his House seat in 1997, may not be ready to make decisions about his political future. But, most assuredly, others are.

Here’s the Staten Island Advance story on the situation.

-- Frank James

Frank James writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune’s Washington bureau.