Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics


How LI caterer's political 'duck' presser went viral

Butch Yamali, shown here last year promoting one

Butch Yamali, shown here last year promoting one of his businesses, drew attention for his press conference on duck being dropped from the inaugural menu. (Credit: Newsday/ Audrey C. Tiernan)

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer had a lot to do with arranging the big swearing-in luncheon in Washington, D.C., last Tuesday as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. But despite a good deal of New York-centric stuff, the symbolic Long Island duck was dropped in favor of bison from South Dakota. Overall, wrote Dana Milbank of the Washington Post about the luncheon, “It was the most audacious export of New York products since Gov. Eliot Spitzer arranged for a New York prostitute to meet him at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel.”

But the duck’s exclusion left a well-known local caterer, Butch Yamali, owner of the Coral House in Baldwin, with a cause celebre to build. So he held a press conference to voice his objection, Schumer answered with a light-hearted “wise-quack” -- quoted here in 11th paragraph -- and life has gone on, after the story gained prominence on media sites.

Click here for the Washington Post version,

here, for the CBS story,

and here for politicker's.

Those are just a few examples.

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Which was the most fevered lunge for self-promotion by a power player?

Hollywood actor and director Danny Glover urging New York City to keep horse carriages. Actress Edie Falco making a TV ad to abolish horse carriages. Ex-Sony exec Mitch Singer, last week: “Why do so many believe that this is Sony’s war to fight?"

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