Rosario Crocetta has survived three assassination plots for taking on Cosa Nostra, and now the good people of Sicily have elected the centre-left Democrat Party candidate as the region's next governor as reported by Tom Kington for The Guardian.
Crocetta launched his crusade against the Sicilian Mafia in 2003 upon his election as Mayor of the port city of Gela where he persuaded local businesses not to pay protection money or pizzo to the local mobsters, and in 2009 when elected as a member of the European Parliament called for the creation of an EU Anti-Mafia Committee.
The mob buster also happens to be gay, and one mob boss who hired a hit man to whack Crocetta in a failed plot was caught on a wiretap calling the gay politician "this queer communist."
The homophobic slurs from the wise guys hardly ruffle Crocetta's feathers. He contends "that a surprising number of members of Cosa Nostra are themselves gay," and quips "the idea that the mafia is all church, home and shotguns makes me laugh." Indeed, Palermo anti-Mafia magistrate Antonio Ingroia "has said he believes there are a number of gay bosses" but "it remains a taboo since they are scared of being ejected from the mob."
Crocetta said his election victory means "the Mafia can pack its bags" as reported by Michael Day for The Independent. Previous governor Raffaele Lombardo "quit in July following an indictment for Mafia association."