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[whitespace] Pat Dando Capitol Bound? The specter of a Pat Dando candidacy for Assembly has spooked Reeps and Dems alike.

Dand-O-Mite

She may not have been able to stand atop the Adobe tower and beat her chest in victory after her bid for mayor, but Pat Dando is nonetheless the 300-pound gorilla in next year's showdown to succeed Republican Assemblyman Jim Cunneen. Prospective candidates are stepping aside to get out of the way of the perceived Dando juggernaut--a perception fueled by her respectable $1 million mayoral crusade, where she kicked butt in city precincts in the 24th Assembly District. ... On the Reep side, former Saratoga Mayor Don Wolfe has given up any pretensions of vying for the West Valley assembly seat, focusing instead on running for supervisor. And other Reeps like Los Gatos Councilman Steve Blanton have told Dando that they would remain on the sidelines if she indeed runs. ... The Dems also seem leery of taking on the Patster. For instance, Foothill-De Anza school trustee Dolly Sandoval--who once talked almost exclusively of an Assembly attempt--now intends to campaign for the District 5 supervisorial seat. Meanwhile, an aide to Supervisor Jim Beall says Jimbo is more interested in running for Congress, and San Jose City Councilgal Charlotte Powers tells Eye she will not seek the Democratic nomination in the district. ... That leaves few, if any, high-profile Dems left in the mix. To wit, two of the most active schmoozers on the glad-handing circuit in recent weeks have been relative unknowns Rebecca Cohn, a business consultant from Saratoga who has hosted fundraisers for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, and Steve Glickman, a Los Gatos school board member. A dark-horse candidate toying with the idea is John Neece, the profane and powerful labor chieftain of the Building & Construction Trades. Neece says he has to talk to his old lady before he makes a final decision. ... As for Dando, though the SJ city councilwoman has yet to make it official, a Dando political advisor says she is "definitely" in. Further proof of a Dando candidacy: The Almaden Valley vixen was spotted in the state Capitol last week talking to party leaders, including caucus chair Charlene Zettel.


Sew What

Reports in the Mercury News have highlighted Mayor Ron Gonzales' proficiency at washing and folding clothes in his Berryessa home. Not to be outdone, San Jose City Council aspirant Chuck Reed issued a press release declaring, "I can fold with the best of them." ... "During a highly revealing conversation," the release reads, "Reed discussed his prowess with sewing as well as washing and folding clothes, which he does every Sunday. Reed, who first learned to wield a needle and thread at the Air Force Academy, is in charge of replacing buttons in the Reed family. ... He perfected his sewing skills while in graduate school at Princeton and is one of the few candidates who will admit to owning a personal sewing machine."


Freeze Frame

Imagine Eye's surprise when, scanning the list of Likud Party candidates in the upcoming Israeli election, we spotted the name of Avi Ben-Abraham, a former Los Altos Hills resident and ex-president of the American Cryonics Society. The flamboyant young medical researcher hosted parties here with such celebs as Muhammad Ali, Elliott Gould and Joe Kennedy, and was active in raising money for U.S. presidential candidates. No one has heard much from Dr. Ben-Abraham since he left the area to become an investment banker and later head up a multimillion-dollar biotech business, Ben-Abraham Technologies. "I returned to Israel," Ben-Abraham reveals, "feeling like I have a certain need to get involved in public service in my homeland." ... Ben-Abraham is already seen as something of a rising star in Likud. (The former beagle-chiller introduced Israel's head of state, Benjamin Netanyahu, at a rally Tuesday in a Tel Aviv suburb.) Still, his election to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, is by no means guaranteed. Ben-Abraham holds the 27th seat on the ticket, meaning if Likud wins 27 seats, he's in. In the past, Ben-Abraham says, that seat was almost guaranteed a spot in the Knesset. But this year analysts are expecting a fragmented vote and so Likud's 27th seat is "borderline." If Avi does make it, don't expect this politician to shy away from controversy. After all, back in 1993 he showed up in "News of the Weird" for a comment he made in Washington, D.C., claiming that Roman Catholic Church leaders were excited about his suggestion "to reproduce Jesus Christ from DNA fibers found on the Shroud of Turin."


Full House

It's no secret that Garden City owner Eli Reinhard isn't thrilled with the card club's location on Saratoga Avenue. Reinhard inherited a 24-year lease when he bought the club in 1993. Four years later, landlords Ernest and Irene Pestana sued Garden City for $3.5 million in back rent and related expenses the club allegedly owed. Shortly thereafter, Garden City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. ... Now comes word that Reinhard is looking to relocate the card club to a better spot. One such location is the FMC site near the airport, an optimum place to lure entertainment-hungry travelers with disposable cash. Within the past month, sources say, Reinhard has been making his case in City Hall, but hasn't received much positive feedback. The city would have to change its current ordinance to allow the relocation and in these times it isn't politically wise to give a helping hand to gambling interests. Stan Berliner, Reinhard's land-use attorney, cautions that his client is merely "exploring" the option of relocating as a way of keeping the business viable in the future. "We're trying to protect jobs," Berliner proclaims.


EasyStreet.com

Last year, Mercury News "Silicon Street" columnist Adam Lashinsky had this to say about the imminent IPO of an online financial news zine: "New York-based TheStreet.com is too young, too small and too unproven to ask public investors for money." Last week the young columnist threw his own caution to the wind and joined the staff of TheStreet.com, days before the 2-year-old zine went public with a $66 million offering. Once a voice for caution on Internet stocks, Lashinsky casts his lot with the legions of people making a ton of money off, well, hype. His new employer last year lost $16.2 million. Nevertheless, the co-founders of TheStreet.com, financial columnist James Cramer and New Republic owner Marty Peretz, stand to make millions from the IPO, even if the share price stays flat. Lashinsky, who was well paid by Merc standards, pulling a six-figure salary, plans to share in the booty. He reportedly bragged to friends that he expects the stock options he's been guaranteed will make him a millionaire. Lashinsky follows a cadre of KR types lured away by the likes of MSNBC and Yahoo. Even so, resentment abounds. "People here are going crazy," says an ex-colleague.


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From the May 13-19, 1999 issue of Metro.

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