Some Nassau Republicans wondered if they were hearing GOP chairman Joseph Mondello's swan song last week at the party's $500-a-plate fundraiser. Joe Cairo, the party's second-in-command, gave him a flowery tribute. "Joe Mondello, he's our own Joe DiMaggio," Cairo said as he presented signed DiMaggio memorabilia to Mondello. Mondello's humble and subdued response sparked retirement speculation. Not so, said GOP spokesman Anthony Santino. "He has a cold," Santino added. "He's looking forward to many more years of victories as chairman of the Nassau County Republican committee."

-- Celeste Hadrick