Monday, September 1, 2008

Pickpockets Thwarted as GOP Pares Down...

By Jim Heffernan

Here’s some of the news unfit to print….

ST. PAUL -- Republican Party leaders were not the only ones scrambling Monday as Hurricane Gustav blew their national convention’s schedule apart. Pickpockets from throughout the United States had converged on St. Paul and Minneapolis hoping to ply their trade among eager convention-goers, only to be thwarted by a hurricane 1,000 miles away.
Willy “Stickyfingers” Sutton, spokesman for the National Federation of Pickpockets, Cutpurses, Swindlers and Con Persons (NFPCSCP), expressed frustration that members were unlikely to garner anywhere near the “take” with convention activity drastically curtailed.
“We were all set to go. We had our people stationed both inside and outside the Excel Energy Center and in the lobbies of every major hotel in St. Paul and Minneapolis, even those Frenchy-sounding ones,” said Sutton. “Now they’ll be standing around convention venues twiddling their thumbs with no targets with fat wallets. It’s disgusting.”
Sutton did express concern for people in the path of Hurricane Gustav. “We’ve got some of our best pickpockets in New Orleans where they serve the tourists,” he said, adding, “it’s been tough enough since Hurricane Katrina, and now this.”
Meanwhile, both Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, declined specific comment on the plight of NFPCSCP members. “I’m reaching out to all Americans at this time, but right now our concern is with all of our friends along the Gulf Coast of the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave, like me,” McCain asserted.
Asked by reporters if her concern extended to NFPCSCP members, Gov. Palin said she is concerned for all Americans, “all human life whether it be an embryonic stem cell or a pickpocket in a jail cell.”
For his part, Sutton, criticized President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney for canceling Monday appearances at the St. Paul gathering of their party. “We can double our take at a presidential appearance,” he said. “Three years ago the president ignored Katrina, and now he ignores us. We’re entrepreneurs operating in a market economy. He should remember that.”
Asked how his organization did at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Sutton said, “Not well. The Democrats are all pickpockets.”
Film at 10.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jim
Wonderful to see you back in print, screen print or whatever. I very much miss your weekly columns. In an effort to see if you were doing anything, other than being retired, I googled your name and here you are. I wish you well in your new endeavor.
Erick Hedren
Hackensack, MN

Jim Heffernan said...

Hi, Erick... Thanks for writing. Very much appreciate your comments. It's great to hear from folks who used to read my columns in the Duluth paper. I now write monthly for Duluth-Superior Magazine ( and have a book collection of past newspaper columns coming out for the holidays. Once again, thanks for writing.