If polls are to be believed, there are many who look at our Congressional representatives as zombies, walking around dead from the neck up. If Mike Scala has his way and beats longtime Congressman Gregory Meeks for his seat in the upcoming election, then at least we would have one Representative who appeared on television as a Zombie, having appeared on the History Channel’s “Zombies: A Living History.”
Scala has made lots of history in his young life.
The 29-year-old Rosedale resident and would-be politician is the son of Mickey “Shades” Scala, who played Sally Gaga in Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, and spent lots of time on stage with his father in the theater.
In addition, Scala is a famed hip hop performer in his own right, with a contract with Rawkus Records and a number of albums to his name.
In fact, in the rap and hip hop world, he is known widely as “Pizon,” a takeoff on the Italian word “paesano,” which literally translates to “countryman.”
In his last year of Brooklyn Law School, Scala has decided that he will take on Meeks, who is the chair of the Congressional Black and Latino Coalition and who has a war chest in the millions.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Wave’s editorial board, Scala stated why he wanted to start at the top and run for Congress.
“I was involved with Obama’s campaign, registering students to vote and I really became interested in politics,” he said. “I am running because Meeks’ priorities are all in the wrong place. He has lost all idea of what the common people want and need. I think the people are ready to elect an everyday person to Congress.”
“The people need a choice,” he added. They are not happy with his votes on school loans and his economic decisions. There is a mood in the nation that calls for fresh faces.”
While Meeks is under investigation by several law enforcement agencies and by the House Ethics Committee, Scala does not plan to focus on those issues.
“People bring [his ethics] up all the time, but I plan to focus on the issues and I believe I can win on the issues – the way he has voted on several issues like college loans and the layoffs of federal employees,” he said. “He was the only city Representative that voted to cut welfare and Medicare. He also supports tax cuts for millionaires. Maybe I am somebody that the young people who oppose his votes can vote for.”
He said that if he is elected his priorities would include overturning the “Citizen’s United Case,” in which the Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions could spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigns.
“I would legislatively put the power back in the hands of the people and do away with the belief that corporations have the right to buy elections,” he said. “I would preserve Medicare and restore school cuts.”
And, while he admits that the Obama health care reform act has flaws,” he calls it a “significant step.”
“I don’t like the mandate [that everybody has to buy health insurance], but I don’t see a better solution,” he added.
And, while he has a war chest of only $10,000, he admits that fighting a candidate with millions is a daunting situation.
“I think I can win,” he said. “Congress has been dropping the ball and the people know that. We need people with energy, who are frustrated with the system and want it to change.”
Although he has little money for advertisements, he has refused to take money from political action committees, the place the real money resides.
“I won’t give up my scruples for some money,” he concluded. “If people want to join me and give me campaign funds, that’s fine, but as for corporations and PACs, they’ll have to look elsewhere to buy favor.”