December 31, 2004

By GARY SHAPIRO

ELATED ELEPHANTS The New York Young Republican Club - America's oldest such organization - hosted its annual holiday party Wednesday at Katwalk on West 35th Street.

The e-mailed invitation encouraged its members to come to a bash where"We can celebrate W's victory without looking over our shoulders." The party was held on the mezzanine and was organized by NYYRC's chairman, Robert Alan Hornak.

Enjoying the party was a partner at consultancy Point of Impact, Peter Reznikoff, who portrayed George Washington in a play by Jonathan Leaf. Asked if he was related to Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976), he said no, but added that they used to live in the same building, on West 69th Street.

Greeting many attendees was Steve Shaw, who is running against Mayor Bloomberg in the Republican primary. His campaign slogan is: "Lower Taxes. More Jobs. The Right Priorities."

There were many more political hopefuls in the room. The Young Republican Club's president, Paul Rodriguez, who once challenged Rep. Nydia Velazquez in the 12th Congressional District, is gearing up to run again. He said of the congressional districts in the city, only one seat is held by a Republican, Rep. Vito Fossella, and that as long as Republicans control Congress, and as long as New Yorkers send Democrats to Congress, "We are going to be ignored."

Also seen was Robert Capano, who is a community relations adviser for the Brooklyn borough president. Mr. Hornak said Mr. Capano, a graduate of St. Edmund's Prep on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, is likely to run for city council in 2005 in the 43rd District in Bay Ridge.

Computer programmer Matthew Slavin is considering a City Council run in Manhattan. "I think New York is way overtaxed," he said. He went to school in Riverdale "where everybody around me was liberal." He recalled being one
of the few in his class at P.S. 24 who raised his hand as supporting Ronald Reagan when the vast majority were supporting Walter Mondale.

Among others at the party were NYYRC's membership chair, Angeleque Vasilakis, who works as a women's wear buyer and a vice president at Greater Talent Network, Joshua Yablon, who ran against Gale Brewer in Council District 6 in 2003 and is a potential candidate in 2005.

The Knickerbocker talked with the Conservative Party Leader for the 81st Assembly District, Mark Goret, who is helping to plan the annual Ulysses S. Grant birthday celebration at Grant's Tomb in April. The executive director of the Young Hispanic Republican Association, New York chapter, Aziza Fishman, stood by BethAnn Coppola, who works in marketing, and said she supports President Bush "150%."

One person who migrated upstairs to the party from the bar was Vilna Joven, who works in the music industry. Ms. Joven happened to be at Katwalk celebrating her birthday with about 20 friends. She came upstairs with a friend who signed up for the NYYRC e-mail list.