Friday, July 25, 2008


As the NEWSGUY, I get all all sorts of email, from long lost friends, to fans, to politicians trying to get on-air coverage of their cause. But, today, I was fascinated by the email I received from my friend, Frank Morano, a producer at WABC Radio and a mucky muck with Staten Island's Independence Party.

A while back, Frank recruited me to make a donation for one of his charities, the "St. Baldrick's Foundation," a group that raises money for cancer research by signing people up to shave their heads for donations. I felt honored to help him out.

Several months prior to that, Frank asked me to help him recover his towed car at the NYPD's vehicle impound lot on the West Side Highway. Again, no problem.

For months, he begged me to go visit the legendary T.V talk show host Joe Franklin. It took awhile, but I finally sat down with Franklin at his cluttered Midtown office and I found him to be one of the nicest guys on the planet. I even thanked Frank for hooking us up.

But, today, I got this email from Frank:

"I've entered a contest. It's sponsored by Nader/Gonzalez. And first prize is a dinner with Ralph Nader. There are a bunch of other prizes. Like -- an autographed copy of Ralph's classic -- Unsafe at Any Speed. But I want to win the dinner with Ralph.The contest works this way:

The person who brings in the most e-mail sign-ups to Ralph's web site wins the dinner with Ralph. Nader/Gonzalez will set up a leader board to keep track of how I'm doing. But, I need you to sign up. And for you to be included on the list of people who I got to sign up, you have to do it in a certain way. By signing up, you will get a daily message from Nader/Gonzalez -- they are always politically interesting -- and sometimes funny. And you can unsubscribe at any time. But for me to win a dinner with Ralph, you have to sign up. So, please, do it for me."

Are you kidding me! Dinner with Ralph Nader? Hmmmmm, let me think who would I want to have dinner with? The President? The Pope? Paul Harvey? Billy Joel? Ted Kennedy?
Geez, I could think of hundreds of people I'd launch an email campaign for just to get a free dinner. Granted, the 74 year old guy is a legend.

He single handily took on the automobile industry in the 1960's and in his book, "Unsafe at any Speed," described for the first time how so many cars, including GM's Corvair, were killing machines. Actually, I'd like to have dinner with Richard James, the inventor of one of my favorite childhood toys, the Slinky.

Unfortunately, James is dead. He died in 1974 when he accidentally wrapped the slinky around his neck. (I just made that part up). Frank ends his email to me with this pathetic plea:

"I want dinner with Ralph!"

Although I will not be engaging in this campaign, fearing that I will be inundated with even more junk mail from a Presidential campaign I could care less about, I encourage you to support my friend, Frank Morano, in his quest for a dinner with Ralph Nader.

If you'd like to support Frank's effort, please feel free to click on the link below and sign up.


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