Getting Greened

Did Memories of the 2001 Mayoral Race Kill the Gubernatorial Primary?

The Miranda/Ramirez entities are also consultants to the Yankees, hired to help pave the way for Bronx support for whatever new stadium concept emerges. Ironically, Miranda confirmed that they are subcontractors to Powers Crane Consulting, a powerhouse Albany lobbying firm headed by former GOP state chair Bill Powers and a relative of Michael Finnegan, Pataki's former counsel and longtime best friend. Powers Crane registered as a Yankee lobbyist early this year, and was paid $50,000 in the first quarter. Ramirez would not say how much his firm gets under this subcontract.

In addition, Mirram was also retained as a consultant to the YES Network, the Yankees' new cable franchise. Mirram filed a disclosure statement with the city clerk's office simply listing Mirram as a lobbyist for Global without mentioning the Yankees or YES. But Miranda confirmed that the network retained them and that they are being paid through Global. The contract paid Mirram $50,000 between June 15 and August 1 to lobby the council, borough presidents, and other city officials. Brad Race, who just stepped down as secretary to the governor, is also on YES retainer, as is Powers Crane. Ramirez says he has "no idea why the Yankee retainer was done through Powers" and insists he "does not have much interaction with Powers or Race."

These foot-in-every-camp intertwines are nothing new to Ramirez or Sharpton. Ramirez was so in bed with his Republican counterpart in the Bronx, GOP leader and State Senator Guy Velella, that he gave Velella the Democratic line in 1996 and undercut a serious Democratic challenger to him in 2000. Sharpton appeared with Pataki at a Harlem church on the eve of the election in 1994, endorsed Al D'Amato in 1986, and befriended Powers when he ran the state GOP. Two of the most fiery and articulate spokesmen for their communities, they are also consummate dealmakers and political entrepreneurs.

The bombast of 2001 so alarmed Cuomo he was caught calling it "a racial contract" in a taped conversation last year, warning that it could not be allowed to happen again. Sharpton thinks Cuomo quit because he was losing anyway and "wanted to come off as a healer." But that may just be another way of saying that the 44-year-old with 2006 ambitions did not want to wind up a second Green, racialized and ridiculed.

Research assistance: Nate Schweber, Sandy Amos

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