Rudy & Peter
As the war between Rudy Giuliani and Alan Hevesi intensifies last week the Comptroller won Round II when a Judge rejected some workfare contracts Rudy was pushing to a former aide another Queens pol seems to benefit.
Because there's no strong GOP contender for Mayor in 2001 and Giuliani would prefer anyone rather than his nemesis Mark Green, Rudys only remaining option seems to be Council Speaker Pete Vallone. Insiders say the two have been looking unusually chummy of late.
Vallone accompanied the Mayor to a Queens press conference on the West Nile virus last week which was in stark contrast to the Mayors usual solo appearances at these kinds of things.
Could Vallone be cozying up to the Mayor in his last gasp at moving up in public office? In most pundits minds, Vallone is third in the Mayoral sweepstakes behind Green and Hevesi, but a few words of praise from Hizzoner and some crossover support from the GOP and poof, Vallone becomes a real challenger.
Stay tuned to the Peter and Rudy dance.
Memo to Rudy: remember your former speechwriter who you fired five years ago and had escorted out of the building? Well, hes back with a book of your own words that has many insiders chuckling.
"Sayings of Generalissimo Giuliani," a small red tome that resembles Mao Tse Tungs book of quotes, was published recently by Welcome Rain Publishers. The collection of Rudys sound bites was aggregated by his former speechwriter Kevin McCauliffe, now a freelance communications consultant who does a lot of work for City Council Speaker Peter Vallone.
The books 428 pages contain the Mayors sometimes varied and contradictory views on many issues, including Jessie Jackson, patronage, the press, drugs, Ed Koch and pornography. One chapter is even devoted to the Mayors "sometimes jarring sense of humor."
The book's intro was penned by Malachy McCourt, a columnist for Our Town and The Spirit, and an outspoken critic of Giuliani. "This mayor drove compassion from the City" McCourt says. "When Rudy departs this planet, we may well recall Dorothy Parkers question when informed of the death of Calvin Coolidge: How do they know?
"So, when they autopsy him, they will discover the same man he was in life: No light in the eye, complete absence of heart, no soul to save, and no special spirit to rise in triumph."
Janet Reno is promising the Elian Gonzalez case wont turn into another Waco, or Ruby Ridge. But just in case or even if it is a peaceful rescue the networks arent about to let the Attorney General send in the troops without a camera in place.
So, theyve wired the house of the Miami relatives. The group is clearly camera friendly just ask Diane Sawyer or Univision. Now, the networks can bring a pool camera in on a moments notice to record any confrontation, explained ABC News spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. ABC, CBS and NBC, along with Associated Press TV, have been using a pool camera to cover the standoff from outside the house; theyd use the same arrangement with any footage taken inside the house, Murphy said, adding that her network would review any interior footage before broadcasting it.
Baseball Fans Rank High
Baseball fans in New York have another reason to celebrate.
In fact, they should be downright giddy according to a new study that ranks New York City fifth on a 64-city survey of places with the most avid baseball fans.
Approximately 21 percent of New Yorks adult population has a "high level of interest" in Major League Baseball, compared to the national average of 15 percent, the study conducted by Chicago-based Scarborough Sports Marketing showed.
Cleveland led with 36 percent.
St. Louis was second, with 31 percent, followed by Atlanta, with 25 percent; and San Diego, 24 percent.
Scarborough is a partnership of Arbitron Co. and VNU Marketing Information, which owns Nielsen Media Research.
The study also found that 63 percent of avid Major League Baseball fans are men and 54 percent have attended college.
Rich and Lucky, Too!
NYConf recently ran into Billy Joel, fresh from selling his East End estate, and back from DC where he helped the Smithsonian celebrate the 300th anniversary of the piano. The museum gave him a medal for popularizing the instrument.
"I think I was four when my mom dragged me off to piano lessons," Joel said. "Mrs. Frances Neiman was my first teacher. She lived down the street, and she also taught ballet. I didnt want to play Beethoven. I didnt want to learn Mozart. I just wanted to rock and make up my own music. And I wanted to meet girls." Like Christie Brinkley, eh?
Joel just sold his 12-acre oceanfront East Hampton estate to Jerry Seinfeld for $40 million. "Theyre going to love it," Joel predicted of Seinfeld and his bride Jessica Sklar. "Its the nicest house I ever lived in."
Joel, meanwhile, is renting in Oyster Bay while scouting out something permanent on the North Shore, near his native Syosset. "I wanted to be closer to New York. The older I get, the more I miss the city."
The 50-year old told us, "This is a great time of life. . . . Of course, Im a rich bastard, so that helps."
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