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Bloomberg hints at possible run for mayor with GOP

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The political pot is still boiling and letting off steam, as most boiling pots do. Let’s try and get a timeline perspective.

On Feb. 25, Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with five Republican county leaders. The purpose of the meeting was to try and convince the leaders to allow him — Bloomberg — to run on the Republican line. In order to obtain the line, he would have to get at least three out of the five leaders to agree to endorse him. They apparently have reserved their decision or not committed themselves.

Meanwhile, in the same time frame, there was a bill in Albany being considered by the Democratic−controlled Assembly to block Bloomberg’s term limits extension to run for a third term.

On Feb. 26, my “Dishing with Dee” column came out and reported a rumor I heard about Phil Ragusa and the Queens County Republican Executive Board, at their steering committee hearings Feb. 28, planning on reviewing Democrat Jerry Iannece’s credentials as a possible candidate for City Councilman Tony Avella’s seat. That news apparently produced quite an uproar.

The first interview on Saturday morning that I knew of was Dan Halloran at 10:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m. on the same Saturday morning, Bloomberg and his entourage stopped by the Whitestone Diner for an early lunch. Logistically, the diner is a short distance from GOP headquarters on Francis Lewis Boulevard. Now, what was Mayor Mike doing in Whitestone on a Saturday morning?

Could it be the real first interview was the mayor himself and Halloran was the second interview? It works out time−wise and makes sense. In addition, at Halloran’s interview, Bob Bishop was present, and since Bishop is a big−time lobbyist, he would take the time for a Bloomberg interview and still be on hand when Halloran arrived for his interview.

That’s what makes politics so much fun: You can second guess and speculate forever with all sorts of possibilities as the answer.

Bishop was not present for the interview of Joe Gravagna, which was a short time after Halloran’s.

Now we fast forward to Sunday at 11 a.m. on Channel 7, where Ragusa and Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino were being interviewed by TV journalist Diana Williams on the program “Up Close.”

The topic of discussion was who the Republican Party will endorse for mayor. Some of the names mentioned were Tom Ognibene, John Catsimatidis and, of course, Bloomberg. Both men, while sounding good, played it rather coy and noncommittal, but did not rule anyone out, including Bloomberg, providing he met certain criteria.

Now what could that possibly be, hmm?

I didn’t know Ognibene was interested in the mayor’s seat, but how could he compete money−wise against either Catsimatidis or Bloomberg? It takes tons of money to run a successful mayoral race. On the other hand, Catsimatidis in the past has stated that if Bloomberg runs, he won’t. Stay tuned, kiddies, as this promises to be a good one.

By the way, Ragusa stated on the Channel 7 interview, “I am not endorsing any Democrat.”

I guess he read my column. Think about what a fiasco it would have been. Can you imagine Democrat Paul Vallone running on the Democratic Party line against Democrat Iannece running on the Republican line? Now that situation would certainly have been pregnant with all sorts of possibilities!

Council candidate Tom Cooke tossed his hat in the ring on Feb. 23 at a fund−raiser for Avella’s seat at Sullivan’s in Bayside. It was quite a nice turnout. Good luck to you, Tom.

That’s it for this week.

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

I like 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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