- Still on the road, up in Oneonta for my daughter's college orientation, and will be busy and traveling for most of the day on this big Hollywood Carryover Monday.
With wagering similar to yesterday when an additional $3.4 million was thrown into the pot, the Pick Six pool could threaten the North American mark of $7,303,848 set at Santa Anita on March 3, 2004. [NY Post]Here's some news items of interest:
- More trouble for Joe Bruno, and Governor Spitzer is wasting no time in taking the opportunity to turn the heat up on his nemesis. The New York Times reports that Spitzer is likely to ask state investigators to look into three trips that the Senate Majority Leader took from Albany to New York City.
“We signed off on the use of the helicopter with the assurance that it was for legislative business,” said Darren Dopp, a spokesman for the governor.On Sunday, the Albany Times-Union reported that Bruno has traveled to New York City on personal business at taxpayer expense, utilizing state helicopters, and receiving ground transportation courtesy of the State Police.
He said it was “extremely likely” that the matter would be referred to either the attorney general, the inspector general or a local district attorney — or a combination of such officials — as early as today. [NY Times]
Three of Bruno's 145-mile, one-hour helicopter flights to Manhattan in May were on dates that Republicans hosted major fund-raisers, two of which featured Bruno, the effective head of the state GOP.Bruno's office claimed that each of the trips contained an element of state business; the Times states that state law does not spell out how official business and fund-raising might intersect on such trips. Bruno's office also cited security reasons for the police escorts, effectively blaming the press!
The Code of Ethics of the State Public Officers Law prohibits a public official from using or attempting to use his official position to gain unwarranted privileges "for himself of others." Violators are subject to fines, removal from office or suspension, or a civil penalty of up to $10,000 and the value of the gift or benefit. [Albany Times Union]
"As he has, and continues to receive, death threats and other threats to his safety, based on what people read in the Times Union and other negative reports, he is provided with State Police protection when traveling." [Albany Times Union]So I guess it's the upstate newspaper's fault for Bruno's being under investigation by the FBI with respect to possible conflicts between his private business and his role as Senate Majority Leader.
One of the trips, on which Bruno hosted a $5,000 per plate reception, included a stop at the Big A the next morning. His spokesperson James McArdle told the Times that the visit to the track related to the state bidding process for the rights to run the Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks. If so, he must have been conducting some early morning business with trainers and/or their horses - state records show that he was picked up in midtown at 7 A.M. for the trip to the Big A, and was at LaGuardia for his helicopter trip home, paid for by the taxpayers, by 10 A.M.
- Florida Governor Charles Crist, by taking no action, allowed new laws that will benefit Broward County's racinos to go into effect. The facilities will each be permitted to add 500 machines, add ATM machines (though not in the VLT rooms themselves), expand hours, allowing 24 hour operation on weekends, and increases the stakes in the poker rooms.
- Voters in Hancock County in West Virginia approved table games at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort, giving advocates of the gambling expansion a 2-1 lead in the referendums thus far, with one more to go.
Voters gave the nod to resort officials Saturday with 5,021 votes, or 69.8 percent, for and 3,506 votes, or 30.2 percent, against the measure.I need to get rocking and rolling myself, so have a good day, and good luck if you're playing the Pick Six.
“This is a watershed moment and a chance to create new jobs in Hancock County instead of losing them, and we now have a lot of responsibility,” Ted Arneault, president of the resort said late Saturday night. “It’s now on our shoulders.”
"This is good news.....Let’s get rocking and rolling." [The Review]