- NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver speaks out on racing to the Saratogian, and tells reporter Paul Post that former Gov. George E. Pataki deliberately "starved" New York Racing Association by refusing to authorize video lottery terminals at Aqueduct.
"The governor (Pataki) wanted to keep his power over NYRA and keep them dependent on him for hand-outs," Silver said. "Truthfully, he made the state forego tens of millions of dollars in revenue."Those are pretty strong words; that's basically the gist of NYRA's lawsuit against Pataki and the state for delaying the racino. I don't recall any elected official, no less one as powerful as the Speaker, confirm that he or she believes what many of us have suspected all along. I wonder if NYRA will have him subpoenaed to testify in their behalf!
Silver also told the paper that there is indeed still time to solicit new proposals, but Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who heads the Assembly's racing and wagering committee, said it makes no sense to restart the process, because the same firms would just try to outbid each other, turning the process into an auction. Capital Play Ltd., and, to a lesser extent, Empire, have already attempted to do just that.
- Newsday gave a slap on the wrist to its writer Paul Moran for accepting small payments from NYRA to appear on their closed circuit telecast. James Odato, writing on the Albany Times-Unions' Capitol Confidential blog, relates that the paper published the following in an editor's note on Wednesday:
A NYRA spokesman and Moran said his appearance was based on the stipulation that the money be given to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a charity dedicated to saving thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete.
However, these actions are against Newsday’s conflict of interest policy. Any involvement of Newsday reporters or editors with organizations they cover raises questions of fairness and objectivity and are therefore inappropriate.