Assemblyman’s Aide Helping Special Election Candidate

Here’s another sign that Assemblyman Michael Gianaris is exploring the idea of running for City Council speaker somewhat seriously.

Gianaris’ chief of staff, Michael Sais, is currently on leave from Gianaris’ office and working on Elizabeth Crowley’s campaign for City Council. (Crowley is one of two Democrats running in the special election to fill Dennis Gallagher’s council seat).

A major strategy behind Gifford Miller’s successful bid for speaker in 2002 was helping to elect council members who, in turn, could cast a vote for him, and it was possible because there was such a high turnover of council members. The same strategy wasn’t available to Christine Quinn and her opponents, who sought the top job while a majority of City Council members were cruising through reelection to a second term. In the next election cycle, there will be plenty of turnover.

Sais and Crowley also have another connection: Sais came to Gianaris’ office after working at the Parkside Group, the consulting firm that is helping Crowley now.

I ran into Sais at a local protest on Saturday, where he seemed to be in high spirits for a guy working during his vacation.