From the August 19, 2004 issue of The New York Daily News
Piscopo entertaining a run for gov
Joe Piscopo gave the Garden State a new slogan with his "You from Jersey?" routine on "Saturday Night Live."
But would voters elect him as a replacement for Jim McGreevey?
The comic confirms that "some prominent business guys" are trying to persuade him to run for the disgraced governor's seat.
Piscopo won't say who they are, but tells us, "They've suggested I run as an independent. They have the financing, but they've assured me I wouldn't be beholden to them."
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Piscopo (who's almost as brawny and speaks better English) has dipped his toes into politics by supporting privately financed recreational programs for "at-risk" minority children.
The comic is a "lifelong Democrat" but admits that his party has "been so embarassed" by McGreevey's disclosure of a gay affair, believed to be with former aide Golan Cipel.
"My heart goes out to Jim and his family," says Piscopo, who got to know them over the years. "Frankly, everybody knew [he was gay]. But I figured, 'What's the big deal? He and [his wife] Dina have an understanding.' I thought he was doing a good job."
But he can't overlook his giving Cipel a $110,000 job as homeland security adviser "when he wasn't qualified. It was really dangerous."
Piscopo says his wife, Kimberly, has threatened divorce if he runs for office but admits he's "listening" to would-be backers.
"We have to stop the special interests," says the Passaic-born entertainer, taking a page from the Schwarzenegger playbook. "We have the highest property taxes in the nation. We're not getting enough back."
Though he concedes that Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine would be better qualified for the job, he says, "the career politicians are killing us."
"I'm such a Jersey guy," he says. "We're so disrespected. It's time someone stepped in. So out of love, I might try it - as a fun run!"