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Joel Klein

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City Hall Officials Have Summer Fridays, Better Lives Than You

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High-level city officials have been fleeing the city – and work – early on Fridays this summer. The Sun tried calling a bunch of different agencies at the end of the week to try to figure out who was there and who wasn't, and turned up ten missing top officials (of the 25 city agencies). Some had just taken half-days, and others, like school chancellor Joel Klein and Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe had taken some August days off as vacation. We're trying to get offended that they're skipping out — technically, they do work for us, don't they? — but mostly we're just jealous. We want to be wherever City Planning director Amanda Burden is going. We bet it's someplace fancy. Top Officials Make Friday an Away Day [NYS] Correction: We're told Klein only took a couple of days off so far this month, to go to Colorado. It's back to school season, after all.

The Battle for Congress

Cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder wants to overthrow booze heir Edgar Bronfman as World Jewish Congress chief. Two openly gay members of the state Assembly refuse to sponsor a gay-marriage bill out of fear of alienating Speaker Sheldon Silver. Senator Chuck Schumer spent a year writing his book, and used Al Gore as a consultant. Victoria Beckham won't convert to Scientology, because it's too expensive. Lindsay, Paris, and Britney were all no-shows at Scott Storch's birthday party last month, but Derek Jeter and Ludacris were there.

Joel Klein and Russell Simmons Want You to Nag Your Parents

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New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein last week announced a fantastic new holiday: Today is the first-ever Take Your Parents to Vote Day! (Do you think Gloria Steinem gets a royalty?) And how does one celebrate Take Your Parents to Vote Day? Conveniently, there's a six-minute video starring animated versions of Klein and — who else? — hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons to explain. What happens in the video? If you don't have six minutes to spare, here's a quick play-by-play.