- The New York Sun is reporting today that State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver favors tossing aside the Ad Hoc Committee's franchise recommendation in its entirety. This would render the months of the panel's work, and the "selection" of Excelsior Racing meaningless, an outcome that many had anticipated given the change of administration in Albany.
Mr. Silver mocked the ad hoc committee's grading system under which the category of "integrity" counted for about a fifth of the evaluation and was assigned a larger weight than "financial viability."Say what? Is it just me, or does Silver's quote make little sense? Leave it to a New York politician to be quoted in a newspaper as saying that giving weight to ethics is "ridiculous," no matter what context he really intended. I see a negative campaign ad somewhere in his future. In any event, the folks at Empire Racing, and NYRA I suppose as well, must be thrilled about Silver's statement.
"The other process gave weight to ethics, which was ridiculous," Mr. Silver said. "If you're unethical but you bid an extra $1 million, we may take you. But if you're ethical and bid $1 million less, it doesn't help you."
Silver is also extremely cranky over the decision by a panel commissioned to recommend a replacement for former Comptroller Alan Hevesi to bypass Democratic Assembly members in favor of three candidates with more financial experience. One of those selected is William Mulrow, a principal of Excelsior Racing. This could set up a confrontation with Gov Spitzer, who favors an outsider over a legislator.