Today’s news:

Dishing with Dee

The big political news this week has been U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) ending her presidential campaign after a private meeting with U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. After discussing the matter with New York's congressional delegation, she acknowledged Obama as the party's choice and endorsed him and asked her supporters to do the same for Democratic unity.

But will that unify the Democratic Party? Clinton and Obama supporters insist that the person they support would make the best president. There have been rumors about Obama selecting Clinton as his running mate. That might be great for the party, but would be disastrous for the candidates. There would be constant jockeying for position. I cannot picture Hillary and Bill Clinton accepting ceremonial roles and being relegated to the background. It would provide more problems than solutions.

Another interesting event that popped up this week was that both U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and Obama rejected an offer from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC News to moderate a town hall meeting between them.

Speaking of Bloomberg, it appears he has been bitten by the political bug. It is our understanding via the rumor mill that he is considering running for a third term. Since the public has voted twice to maintain term limits, however, it would appear his only shot would be revising the City Charter. There does not seem to be enough time to get a revision committee together and get the process done before the end of his term, but nothing is impossible.

Last Thursday evening we attended the Queens Village Republican Club's last meeting before summer vacation at Trattoria Lucia on Jericho Turnpike in Bellerose. They apparently intend to make that their official monthly meeting place, even though they still have to vote on it.

Their guest speakers included Joe Gravagna of Beechhurst, who is running for City Councilman Tony Avella's (D-Bayside) seat. Another speaker, Tom Dooley, appears to be running for state Sen. George Onorato's (D-Long Island City) seat. The third speaker was Maj. Christopher Pimentel, a veteran who recently returned from Iraq. His group, Vets for Freedom, is seeking candidates who served their country to run for political office nationwide. All in all, it was an interesting and informative evening.

By now you are aware that Anthony Como won the race for Dennis Gallagher's former City Council seat, provided he maintains his lead after the write-in and absentee ballots are counted June 10. In any event, he will have to win a Republican primary in September and then the general election in November. That means running for office three times in six months and winning all three times. That seems time consuming and convoluted. Thank goodness this process only applies to special elections, which are rare.

The petition season started June 3. If you are a registered voter, there is a chance you will be approached by petition carriers as they attempt to get enough valid signatures to put their respective candidates on the ballot. Be a good citizen and sign their petitions. It is a grueling, aggravating task, especially in the summer.

That's it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties or politics or old-fashioned gossip.

I also like receiving voice mail at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mail at deerrichard@aol.com.

Till next week, Dee.

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