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Spitzer skips dinner with boro leaders

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), Spitzer and Napoli (D-Great Neck), who one day earlier was overwhelmingly elected to replace Alan Hevesi by the state Legislature, were all expected at the Queens County Democratic Organization's annual winter dinner last Thursday, people who attended the event said. DiNapoli showed up at the $250-a-head fund-raiser in Queens Village, but Spitzer and Silver never appeared.DiNapoli's election, which resulted primarily from the support of the Assembly's Democrats, including the 18 members from Queens, was viewed as a rebuke of Spitzer, who had wanted the next comptroller to come from outside the Albany political establishment. Spitzer has made no secret of his displeasure in the days since the vote.Spitzer's Queens no-show came amid reports that he had canceled a lunch with Assembly Democrats and reneged on a promise to headline a Manhattan fund-raiser, also for Assembly Democrats, the same day. Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette (D-Jackson Heights) said the dinner was scheduled to run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and that sometime after 7 p.m. word began to circulate that Spitzer wasn't coming."People were pretty upset," one Queens Democrat said, noting that there were other political events in the borough that evening. When U.S. Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) and Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), head of the Queens Dem machine, arrived, they announced that Spitzer was in Binghampton and would not be attending the dinner.A spokesman for Crowley declined to comment on Spitzer's last-minute change of plans, but an insider said "the implication was pretty clear." Spitzer's spokeswoman said she was "sure a scheduling issue" had kept Spitzer from attending the dinner. She also said she was unaware DiNapoli was at the dinner.Reach reporter Craig Giammona by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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