The politics of true love has laid low New York City Council member Allan Jennings.
When the sharp-dressing and doe-eyed Democrat from Queens fell for an alluring Chinese folk dancer named Yi Ling Li, Jennings played the enraptured gallant and bought ads in two Chinese-language newspapers professing his love for Yi Ling and thanking his Chinese constituents for their support.
"I hope that the Chinese American community will look at me as one of their own. I have already done proper preparation, and I am willing and able to help and serve the Chinese community in the same way I would serve my community," the ads read in Chinese.
Problem is, the self-described "councilman with a Chinese heart" used the same paid space to criticize his estranged Taiwanese wife and her family for not welcoming "someone of African descent."
"My ex-wife would never admit that I was her husband, and because of her view of things, we decided last year to divorce."
Alas, reality bit the councilman. His "beautiful love" told reporters that she had broken up with Jennings "a long time ago." And his estranged wife told Newsday that the ads "shocked and scared" her. Fellow city councilman John Liu, who represents an adjoining district, said his phones are trilling with calls from deeply offended Chinese Americans.
Jennings defended the ads. "Just because I'm a councilman doesn't mean I can't be my romantic self. I have nothing to hide."
-- Christine Haughney