By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jul 11, 2013 at 11:01 AM Photography:

It was the summer of 1962 and almost unbearably hot. It was my first visit to New York. I had just graduated from high school and my little brother had just finished his junior year.

The night before we were scheduled to return home, my brother and I were set free to hit the New York streets on our own. We wanted to see a play and we ended up outside the 46th Street Theatre on Broadway, where "How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" was playing.

While we stood there, trying to figure out how to get tickets and avoid being jostled to death by the crowd, a man dressed in a wrinkled suit stopped right next to us and pissed on the sidewalk. My brother and I were dumbstruck. Nobody even stopped or seemed to notice him. Some people adjusted their route to avoid the puddle, but nobody made much of a deal about it.

"What a city," my brother said. "Milwaukee isn’t this exciting."

Since that time I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve been to New York. I even lived there for about 10 months. And I never fail to be awed by the level of excitement the city offers. And over the decades, I’ve heard a lot of people in Milwaukee say they wished we could be more like New York. More arts. More sophistication. More adventurous. More everything.

Well, New York has delivered another bit of wonder that we could, I suppose, try to emulate.

Running for mayor in New York is former congressman Anthony Weiner, who was forced to resign after it was revealed he was sending erotic pictures of himself to another woman. Running for the powerful post of city comptroller is former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who was forced to resign after it was revealed he had been using the services of a high-priced call girl.

Let’s say Milwaukee wanted to compete with New York. Who would our scandalous candidates be who would beg for forgiveness during the election process?

At the top of our list would have to be any one of a number of Roman Catholic priests who have been caught molesting young children. Many of them have been defrocked so they are civilians and we don’t have to worry about that messy separation of church and state thing if one of them runs for public office. Priests are also used to asking for forgiveness from God, and it’s not that big a step to ask for it from the voting public.

We could also ask Mark Chmura to run for something like director of all swimming activities, like Bradford Beach and the county swimming pools. Chmura, you may remember, is the former Green Bay Packers tight end who found himself in a home swimming pool with several underage girls dressed in bikinis. It was a post-prom party but Chmura, who was a long way out of high school, didn’t go to the prom. He just attended the party. He was tried for sexual assault and acquitted. But the stain remains.

There’s a lot of dissatisfaction with Mayor Tom Barrett, so how about getting John Norquist to run for the top job again? He’s famous for his urban expertise and the apple he shared with his paramour, Marilyn Figueroa, to whom he was not married. The encounters took place in his office, giving new meaning to the boss saying to an employee "Can you step into my office for a sec, and bring your bag lunch with you?"

And, if we truly believe that it’s only the dumb and the desperate who actually run for political office, we could bring back the former mayor of Racine, Gary Becker.

In 2009, Becker was arrested at Brookfield Square Mall where he had gone to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old girl he had been talking dirty with online. It wasn’t really a girl, but a state agent posing as the girl. So Becker was arrested and charged.

In short order his wife got a divorce (shocking, I know) and he was convicted of child sex crimes. His sentencing date came around and at the court session the district attorney pointed out that just two weeks before he was supposed to be sentenced he visited the juniors section at a Boston Store in Racine and bought some small-sized lingerie. Nine bras and nine panties. Color coordinated. Just two weeks before his sentence. In a city where he had been mayor and was hardly anonymous.

New York may have us beat as far as number of delis and Broadway theaters, but with Becker leading the way, they might be No. 2 in sleazy political comeback attempts.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.