By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia area insurance agency owner is in the final days of his campaign to keep his other job, as a member of the Italian Parliament.
Think of the frequent flyer miles as 54-year-old Amato Berardi jets off on Mondays to Rome during legislative sessions and returns on Fridays only to then have to try to connect with spread-out constituents.
“The biggest Italian population is New York. The second, believe it or not, is in Philadelphia.”
Well, that’s not so bad but, “Then there’s Montreal, Canada; Toronto, Canada; then Detroit, Miami, Newark, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Vancouver, Boston” — 92 cities in North and Central America, as Berardi, looking for a new five-year term, uses everything from direct mail to the Internet and good old fashioned pressing the flesh to gain support.
The voters are Italian citizens living here, and those like himself who have dual citizenship. The issues: better communication, promoting Italian language and culture and, of course, jobs.