What's the Big Idea?
To His Credit...
Gifford brought to life a rather ingenious model for how to run for Speaker. In anticipation of the Council's newly enacted term limits in 2001, Gifford created a Political Action Committee (PAC) creatively dubbed Council 2001. Think of the PAC as a sugardaddy of sorts - it invested time, resources and dollars in the campaigns of candidates Gifford dated exclusively in the 37 open races across the City.
The theory was that if and when an endorsed candidate won their election, the love connection would in turn produce a vote for Gifford in his bid for the Speakership. Though Gifford probably only swung about .500 in his relationships, it gave him enough of a base of support to close the larger backroom deals with the Bronx and Queens County party bosses. In 2002, the backing of bosses Roberto Ramirez (of the Bx) and Tom Manton (of Qns) helped seal the deal, bringing Gifford the requisite number of party-backed votes.