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Lenihan still off Cuomo's invite list

   You might think the parade of top Democrats into Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's big fundraiser at the Lafayette Hotel Wednesday would have included the Erie County Democratic chairman. Lenihan_head

   After all, Leonard R. Lenihan heads upstate New York's largest concentration of Democrats. And you would have to believe the party's connections would add even more to the $450,000 minimum it is thought the governor raked in Wednesday night.

   But Lenihan was not among those attending the soiree at the glitzy new Lafayette. 

   "I was not invited," he said. "But that's OK."

   Though Albany sources reported earlier this year that relations between the Lenihan and Cuomo camps had improved after the governor's operatives attempted to force out the chairman last summer, it is apparent all is not well in Democrat Land. Speculation continues as to Lenihan's future among statewide Democrats, who still prefer that he leave, but the chairman has so far dropped no hints about his plans.

   Lenihan downplayed any significance about his absence at the Wednesday event, and offered only "no comment" when asked if the chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party might normally appear on the roster for such a major fundraiser.

--Robert J. McCarthy

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