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New York: Is Giuliani Really Interested in Senate Bid?

A quick, informal survey of Washington, D.C., Republican strategists shows they aren’t putting much stock in a report in Monday’s New York Post that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) is being urged by some top GOP officials to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) instead of running for governor next year.

Giuliani has said he’ll announce whether he plans to run for governor after this November’s county and municipal elections in New York. But in Monday’s Post, a longtime Giuliani house organ, Fred Dicker, the paper’s plugged-in state politics columnist, wrote that some party leaders want Giuliani to run for Senate instead of governor. He said Giuliani’s decision to back the wrong horse in the recent fight to elect a new state GOP chairman was part of the reason.

Meanwhile, a report Monday on the Web site said some of Giuliani’s backers are intensifying the efforts to draft him into the gubernatorial race, where polls show him soundly defeating Gov. David Paterson (D).

Former Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.), who has been preparing a gubernatorial run for several months, has just taken a leave of absence from his job at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and is expected to formally announce his candidacy Monday. Lazio became the Republican nominee for Senate in 2000 after Giuliani dropped out of that race.

Hall Opponent Unveils Health Care Proposals

State Assemblyman Greg Ball (R), the likely challenger to Rep. John Hall (D) next year, made good on a promise he made during the heat of last month’s health care town halls and unveiled a series of health care reform proposals on Monday that he plans to deliver to the Congressman.

While Ball’s proposals — at least as laid out in a news release — are short on specifics, they do include several provisions that are likely to be popular with voters, including universal health coverage, stripped-down bureaucracy, extending children’s health coverage on their parents’ plans to the age of 25, and tort reform measures, among others.

During the national and local back-and-forth on health care reform in August, Ball said he would take what he had gleaned from the four health care town hall meetings that he had hosted and present them to Hall for consideration in Congress. Hall told Roll Call last month that he did not plan to engage Ball until he becomes the official Republican nominee next year, and the Congressman’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Weiner Fundraiser Invite Has Retro Look

He’s abandoned his campaign for mayor of New York, but Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) is still raising money.

Weiner has a fundraiser for his re-election scheduled Thursday to coincide with his 45th birthday — which was actually on Sept. 4. The invitation to the event at RDV, a club in Manhattan’s hip meat-packing district, looks like an old 45 record.

Weiner, who ran a well-regarded though ultimately unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2005, abandoned his plans to try again earlier this year when über-wealthy Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) arranged to change the city’s term limit law. But Weiner still retains mayoral ambitions, and 2013 isn’t that far off — the job will be open then assuming Bloomberg wins a third term in November. Meanwhile, Weiner’s prospects for re-election in 2010 seem pretty safe.

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