If the election were held today, the State of Sao Paulo, the most developed in the country, would have as its two new representatives in the Senate starting next year a feminist leader and his running mate, a pagode singer charged with assault to his wife in 2005.
Netinho de Paula, 40, began his musical career at age 15 as a member of the group Negritude Jr, a group formed by black boys from the slums of Sao Paulo.
With success, he began an independent career as a singer and soon became a TV presenter, turning into a kind of idol of the black youth of Sao Paulo. But in 2005, Netinho (a diminutive form of Grandson), made headlines after assaulting his wife Sandra Mendes de Figueiredo. The photo of the woman with bruises on her face circulated throughout the country.
Netinho was prevented from returning home, but suffered no more serious punishment. And three years later, declaring he was sorry, he was elected alderman of Sao Paulo by the Communist Party of Brazil, with the third highest vote. Now he leads the voting intentions for the Senate.
Second is, Marta Suplicy, a traditional supporter of PT, the same party of Lula, and known feminist, who in the 80’s had a television program called TV Mulher (Women TV). Blonde and from a wealthy family, Marta did not complain publicly of having a running mate who assaulted a woman.
But the female candidate, who is also a sex therapist, complained when Netinho began urging people from Sao Paulo to vote in the Negão (big black guy) and in the blond, two human representations that tend to be joined in jokes about sex in Brazil. Anyway, looks like the voters found it a good joke.