Charles Gargano settles some scores with Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Andrew Cuomo and Larry Silverstein in his new book. The longtime Republican rainmaker confusingly titled his tome “From the Ground Up,” the same as that of ex-Starbucks CEO and presidential hopeful Howard Schultz’s memoir.
Gargano blasts Giuliani for getting a Coney Island baseball stadium built for a Mets minor league team.
“He hammered the project through just so he could say he brought baseball back to Brooklyn,” Gargano writes. “That’s the dark side of vision. It’s called megalomania.” The park opened in June 2001, while Giuliani was mayor.
As for Gov. Andrew Cuomo? “Not the man his father was. He’s almost as bad as [New Jersey’s Chris] Christie in terms of wasting the state’s money for the sake of image.”
Gargano served as ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, under Reagan and George H.W. Bush, before becoming Gov. George Pataki’s economic czar. So, in 1999, Trump invited Gargano to be a judge of his Miss Universe pageant, when it was held in Trinidad.
Arriving on Trump’s plane with his then-girlfriend Phyllis George, Gargano was besieged by camera crews and reporters.
“They were excited to see me. ‘Wow! You’re back!’ I’d been a pretty popular ambassador,” Gargano recalled. But Trump staffers felt he was stealing the spotlight and asked him to stop talking to the press.
“That’s Donald Trump in a nutshell,” Gargano writes. “I worry about him because everything is always about him.”
Gargano also brags he got the better of real-estate mogul Silverstein in their dispute over who would rebuild One World Trade Center — the Port Authority, which owned the land, or Silverstein, who had signed a 99-year lease in July 2001.
“This slimy Silverstein was trying to shake us down,” Gargano writes. “Silverstein blinked. Bullies always do.”
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