Today’s news:

Ragusa might interview, endorse Democrat Iannece

Phil Ragusa, say it isn’t so! This weekend, I’ve received three separate phone calls from three different sources claiming that when you hold your screening committee Saturday at Queens County Republican headquarters, that not only are you going to interview Democrat Jerry Iannece, but the rumor mill has it you plan on endorsing him, too.

In fact, one of the men who called me said when he had heard the rumor, he called you directly and you said, “I intend to interview every viable candidate.”

As chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, why would you consider a Democrat as a viable candidate when you have two to three Republicans running? I don’t see any Democrats interviewing Republicans as viable candidates, so may I be presumptuous as to ask why? Assuming, of course, the rumors are true.

If I have the wrong information, please call me at 917−744−0800 and I guarantee you I’ll print your side of the story. It’s rather disturbing as it is. I hope there’s a logical explanation.

The Queens Republican Party has just gone through three excruciating months of chaos. They really don’t need any more, especially if it’s internal dissension among the ranks, so let me know your side.

On Wednesday evening, the North East Queens Republican Club at its monthly meeting presented state Sen. Frank Padavan with two cakes: one for this year’s successful election, and one for the next one in two years. Way to go, Frank.

The good senator thanked everyone for their support and concern. He especially thanked Janet Malone for the great job she did as his office manager at the local office. He also thanked his campaign manager in Albany, who assisted him in running a successful campaign.

Padavan has promised to endorse Dan Halloran, the up−and−coming young, new Republican candidate for Tony Avella’s seat. Lots of luck, Dan. The Republican Party needs some winners, as the senator is lonesome being the only elected Republican in Queens.

Thursday at noon, we had lunch at the Sheraton LaGuardia East with the Flushing Chamber of Commerce. Myra Baird−Herce did her usual great job, assisted by Vice President Joanne De Martino, who is always a great help to Myra.

Do you remember the “Painted Cows of 2001?” Well, Flushing is planning on doing the same this summer. It’s going to be a cow painting contest, which promises to be as much fun as the city one. More details later. The Muss Organization and Queens Crossing are sponsoring it.

Thursday night was a fun evening. It was the 12th annual awards reception of the Irish American Republicans, otherwise known as the “GOP Delta Force,” at Langan’s Restaurant at 150 W. 47th St. in Manhattan. The honorees were William Flynn, chairman emeritus of Mutual of America; Peter King, representative of the Third Congressional District in New York; and Alana Sweeny, a member of the 2008 GOP Platform Committee.

Some old friends who were present were Grant Lally, Jerry Bush, Halloran and former President Richard Nixon’s son−in−law, Ed Cox. What a great party.

We finished off Thursday evening at the Whitestone Republican Club Headquarters on Francis Lewis Boulevard. They are in the process of reactivating the dormant Whitestone Republican Club. It’s still in the early stages, but every little bit helps. Congratulations and best of luck to Rob Speranza, the new Whitestone Republican Club president.

That’s it for this week.

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

I also look forward to receiving your voice mails at 718−767−6484, faxes at 718−746−0066 and e−mails at deerrichard@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

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