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Dishing with Dee: Boro campaigns’ money race kicks into gear

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On Wednesday, the Forest Park Republican Club had lawyer Grant Lally as guest speaker at its monthly meeting. Grant's an excellent speaker and currently working on presidential candidate U.S. Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign in New York. To refresh your memories, Grant ran against U.S. Representative Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) for Ackerman's seat in the 1990s.The New Visions Democratic Club held a fundraiser Thursday at Abbracciam­ento's on Woodhaven Boulevard. The turnout was impressive. I believe Danny Dromm, their district leader, is running for City Councilwoman Helen Sears's (D-Jackson Heights) seat. Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) attended and had lots compliments for Danny. Good luck, Danny!There was a fundraiser Friday at Antun's in Queens Village, given by the Friends of Bill Scarborough (D-St. Albans), a nice guy who's well-loved and respected by his City Council constituents. While there, I ran into Archie Spigner, who said he just got out of the hospital, but there were so many interruptions I never got the full story of what was actually wrong. Feel better, Archie, you looked well to me.I sat at a table with Chet Szarejko and members of his Polish-American Congress, a nice group of guys. Chet will be honored with a medal in May at an Ellis Island event. Congratulations, Chet! I understand Michael Ricatto will also be honored at the same event. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who appreciates and recognizes the dedicated hard work these men do.Saturday was the busiest day. There was a GOP brunch at the Reception House in Flushing. The sponsor and keynote speaker was John Catsimatidis. He makes a lot of sense, but since he's a self-made billionaire, solving problems must be one of his accomplishments. John sounded so well during the question-and-answer period that one got the impression he might seriously be considering running for public office.At the brunch, the Queens GOP introduced its slate of candidates again, as it did at last month's Northeast Queens Republican Club meeting. One of the candidates running for state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza's (D-Bayside) seat told me that his name's Robert Speranza, not Richard, as I reported earlier. Sorry about that, but "Richard" was the name I was given. If you intend to run for political office, you should print some business cards to hand out at various events so you can avoid mistakes. It also gives credibility to the fact that you intend to run.From there, it was off to the Old Glory GOP Club in Middle Village for a soda and pizza party to celebrate the official announcement by Anthony Como that he's running in the special election for City Councilman Dennis Gallagher's (R-Middle Village) seat. Vacating the seat was part of the plea deal Dennis made.They tell me that Tom Ognibene's also going to run for that seat. The question is: why? No one has seen much of him for a few years. From what we hear, he's been busy working in Staten Island. May the best man win, but for the good of the party, one of you should drop out. Otherwise, a split in party backing would hand over the election to your opponent.Saturday evening it was off to Terrace on the Park for the Child Guidance Center of New York's Annual Awards Dinner-Dance and Auction. This year, the nonprofit honored New Parkway Hospital CEO Dr. Robert Aquino, Sunil Garg, Leonard Schwartz and Cynthia Mann. The people from the center do so much good in Queens for children in need. They originally served 4,500 children when they started; they now serve more than 14,000 children.If you want to get involved, call them at 718-652-7770 to find out how. They have a program where you can volunteer to help support a child for one year. It's a worthwhile effort to help a child at risk from abuse or neglect.Hank Auffarth said he'll step down this year as the center's president. He said that after 13 years it was time for someone else to take the reins. He'll remain, however, on the board of directors. The highlight of the evening was the auction, which was tons of fun. I hope it raised tons of money.We understand that George Delis is planning to retire after 30 years on Community Board 1. Good luck, George, in whatever you do next and remember who loves you!Remember, I like receiving your voicemail at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mail at deerrichard@aol.com.Till next week, Dee.

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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