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Disgraced politicos try, try again, rogue characters in NYC and liquid gold

A couple of guys whose political careers seemed dead and buried have re-emerged to throw their hats in the ring.

If you haven’t guessed yet, one is former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who said he was “hiking the Appalachian trail” back in June 2009 when he was really off in Argentina with his mistress, now fiancee.

The other is former Queens Congressman Anthony Weiner, who in 2011 tweeted a photo of his bulging underpants to a 21-year-old college student in Seattle. Problem is, that “private message” ended up going to all 45,000 of his followers.

Sanford recently won a 16-way primary for the Republican nomination for a South Carolina congressional seat. And Weiner recently confirmed his interest in running for New York City mayor, spending more than $100,000 on polling and research.

Hey, they wouldn’t be the first to make a comeback from scandal. Call it the “The Walking Dead – Politics.”

Who would ever have guessed that the Cookie Monster, Elmo, Super Mario or Spiderman needed to be regulated?

But these are just a few of the children’s characters in Times Square accused of everything from shoving a 2-year-old to groping a woman to berating tourists.

New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is considering legislation to control performers who dress up as those warm, fuzzy characters trying to earn tips from tourists.

Street performers are synonymous with New York City and have some First Amendment protections. But the line has to be drawn when cuddly characters become the source of children’s nightmares.

There’s trouble in Maine. The Pine Tree State is having issues with, of all things, its maple trees. Not the trees, themselves, but the sap bandits who are tapping trees on private property and making off with the primary ingredient of maple syrup.

It’s big business. Maine produced 360,000 gallons of syrup last year, tying it with New York as the nation’s second-leading producer. And they are pikers compared to tiny Vermont, which turned out 750,000 gallons of the liquid gold.

Even more startling, thieves in Quebec last year made off with $20 million worth of syrup from a warehouse. This stuff is plainly valuable.

Memo to Western New York’s economic development team: Plant more maple trees.