By Dee Richard
Some of the attendees were state Sen. Frank Padavan; Chairman of CB 11 Jerry Iannece; President of the East Bayside Homeowners Association Frank Skala; Susan Seinfield; former Republican Assembly candidate Peter Boudouvas; Linda Balderchie; former chairman of CB 11 Benjamin Haber; and president of the John Golden Park Block Association, Dr. Blanche Felton. All the other elected officials who were invited were conspicuous by their absence.Of course, Grandpa Skala had his grandson Brayden there, and to commemorate the occasion gave everyone a million-dollar bill with a photo of Brayden in the president's slot. After all, he is Frank's “Million Dollar Baby.” A charming gesture. Everyone had a good time enjoying their stress-free socializing.Later on Sunday evening a sect of Indian Christians put on a Nativity Pageant and sang Christmas carols. The event was held in the auditorium of Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside. It was an interesting interpretation of the Christmas story. Apparently that sect of Indian Christians dates back to the 1400s on the west coast of India. Many of the group have migrated to New York with a large portion of them settling in Queens. Collectively they have more than a 90 percent literacy rate. This group is represented by a large proportion of the doctors, lawyers, scientist and other professionals in many fields.Now that the presidential election is over and done with, all that remains is the inauguration ceremony and the many balls held in nine different hotels in Washington on Jan. 20 which free up all the politicos to start concentrating on state and local elections coming up.First and foremost, we have the governor's race. As of now, Gov. George Pataki has not decided whether he will run for a fourth term. Perhaps he is waiting till after the inauguration to see if there is a possible Washington spot looming in his future.There have been persistent rumors that billionaire Thomas Golisano, the inventor of the paycheck system and founder of the New York State Independence Party, is going to explore the possibility of making a successful run for the governorship. If he chooses to run, Galisano, like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, can well afford to finance his own campaign. Golisano is a Rochester resident.An interesting sidebar is that Stephen Minarik has replaced Sandy Tredwell as the New York State Republican Chairman. Minarik is also from Rochester. A coincidence? We wonder if the two men know each other and if they have had any interesting conversations lately.Next we have Eliot Spitzer, the New York state attorney general, who has announced he is also running for the governorship. Spitzer has quite an impressive war chest.This leaves the door open for Queens Assemblyman Michael Gianaris to toss his hat into the ring for Spitzer's seat. The rumor mill has it that Mark Green, former New York City public advocate, also has his eye on that prize.Then we come to the New York City mayoral race. That field is rather crowded at the present time. Incumbent Mayor Bloomberg intends to run for a second term. Some of the others who have expressed a desire to run for his job are former Bronx Borough President Freddy Ferrer, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and Brooklyn Councilman Charles Baron. New York City Comptroller William Thompson was also considering running for the office, but after giving it considerable thought he decided to stay put and sit this one out. He obviously deemed the timing wasn't right and he would wait and run at another, more appropriate time, a smart move on his part.All of the county borough presidents as well as all Council members will also be running for re-election at this time, incumbents and challengers alike. After all, with 4-to-1 matching funds what do any of them have to lose?Apparently, the powers that be in Albany have taken note of Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi's campaign to fix dysfunctional Albany. There is no honor in being singled out as the 50th most dysfunctional legislature of the 50 states. Even Arkansas comes out ahead of us in the ratings. They must also have listened to the complaints from former Assembly candidate Peter Boudouvas and others.In the New York State Legislature you don't have to be present for your vote to be counted. An empty seat is an automatic “yes” vote. Last week in Albany legislators decided to work together to effect change and to start rectifying some of the dysfunctionalism. They are starting with a mandate that you must be present for your vote to count. Good luck, ladies and gentlemen, and congratulations for trying to take steps in the right direction.This will be a short column as aforementioned. This has been a very slow week without much happening to report on.Keep the voice mail coming at 718-767-6484, the faxes at 718-746-0066 and the e-mails at email@example.com.Till next week, Dee.