Pataki’s Inner Circle
Governor George Pataki
Current Play: Trying to convince national GOP leaders he’s presidential material; plotting to avoid being associated with high-profile 2006 losses.
Boosting: Himself, Pirro (tepidly), Weld (to punish longtime rival Tom Golisano).
State GOP Chair Stephen Minarik
Current Play: Hanging on as party supremo.
Boosting: Socially liberal candidates Pirro and Weld.
Undermining: Conservative Party honcho Mike Long and his power over the GOP.
Strategy: Strong-arming county chairmen into supporting his duo.
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld
Current Play: Hoping his blue-blood charm will out-affable Spitzer to win governorship.
Boosting: Minarik, his prime sponsor.
Strategy: Pushing for Minarik-engineered “straw poll” of county chairs to shore up his candidacy.
Westchester D.A. Jeanine Pirro
Current Play: After her Senate bid was betrayed by Bruno and others who want to take control of the party from Minarik, she’s fighting for her political life.
Strategy: Staged “summit meeting” with Pataki to create impression he’d rallied for her.
Former Senator (and current lobbyist) Al D’Amato
Current Play: Plotting to maintain influence in post-Pataki Albany.
Boosting: Pirro (in hopes of selling access to her later).
Backup Plan: He’s crossed party lines to talk up Spitzer, hoping likely future gov will give him the access to keep his lobbying biz alive.
State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno
Current Play: Hanging on to slim State Senate majority.
Boosting: Golisano, hoping he’ll bankroll Senate candidates and goose turnout.
Undermining: Minarik, Pirro, Weld.
Strategy: By slaying Pirro and Weld, he destroys archrival Minarik.
Rochester Billionaire Tom Golisano
Current Play: Gubernatorial candidacy as hostile takeover of state GOP after losing repeatedly to Pataki.
Undermining: Minarik, because he hand-picked Weld.
Conservative Party Boss Mike Long
Current Play: Figuring out how to maintain influence over state GOP.
Undermining: Pirro, Weld, Minarik.
Strategy: By withholding support from Pirro and Weld, he hopes to turn worried GOP activists against Minarik.
The Free Agents
Former Congressman Rick Lazio
Current Play: Floating his name for attorney general while sitting at his desk at JPMorgan Chase.
Strategy: Waiting to see if GOP primary field is clear before running (and apparently wondering if it’s worth sacrificing his Wall Street bonus).
Former Secretary of State Randy Daniels
Current Play: Hoping to become governor by siphoning minority votes from Spitzer while also running as the conservative candidate.
Strategy: Hoping to turn GOP rank and file against liberal Weld.
Lobbyist John Faso
Current Play: Selling himself as a Long Island version of tax-cutting Pataki.
Undermining: Weld, Daniels, Golisano.
Hidden Agenda: High-profile statewide loss would still boost profile (and lobbying business).
Mayor Mike Bloomberg
Current Play: Trying to leverage his landslide into Albany influence.
Boosting: Minarik’s state party for helping him win, punishing Democratic Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver for sinking his stadium (but not enough to alienate probable Dem governor Spitzer).