RSS Feed for this Blog

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It's Those Friends Again

- It seems as if every time some further revelation about Joe Bruno comes out, it somehow involves racing and, in many cases, leads right to Friends of New York Racing. The Albany Times-Union, in two articles published on Sunday, reported that the State Police kept detailed itineraries of Bruno's taxpayer-funded helicopter trips to New York long before Spitzer took office - going back to the Pataki Administration in 2004 - and then revealed details of some of those trips. Not surprisingly, the excursions described contained very little of the official state business that caused Bruno to take the trip on the public's tab.

One of these supposedly business-related trips to New York at taxpayer expense detailed by the paper tells of one that took place in late October, 2004. At that time, the report goes, Bruno dined with Tim Smith, former NYRA chairman Ogden 'Dinny' Phipps, and Jared Abbruzzese in a private room in an exclusive Manhattan restaurant. According to the timeline presented in the Thacher report on Empire Racing, this took place after Smith eliminated himself from consideration to be NYRA CEO by telling Neil Getnick of his plans to take the franchise private with a little help from his Friends. So what exactly Mr. Phipps was doing at this particular meeting of the minds, I can't really say. Getnick revealed last week that he's been questioned by federal prosecutors in regard to their investigation of the relationship between Bruno and Abrruzzese.

In any event, one would think that the Senate Republicans would now try to quietly slink away from their insistence on investigating Spitzer's office - at the cost of at least $500,000 of additional taxpayer money. The tide of the news, and of public opinion, is , seems to be turning against them as it becomes clear that Bruno's abuse of the system is the real crime here. They could then concentrate on more important things.

Like insisting on once again having the four three franchise applicants make their cases. Oh man, talk about wasting taxpayer money!! NYRA, the persistent Capital Play, and the obnoxiously shameless and insufferable Empire Racing will do just that on Wedensday. For heaven's sake.

Maybe that's part of the reason why Charlie Hayward came off as being rather belligerent last week, telling the Saratogian that NYRA could reopen its land claim if no agreement is reached by Dec 31; and that it would not let the state use its tracks to run racing. On one hand, it doesn't really seem to be in the spirit of the association's non-profit status for Hayward to threaten a shutdown of racing under any circumstances. But with the Senate Republicans posturing instead of moving forward with what, under the circumstances and given the deficiencies of the competition, is clearly the most logical solution, who could blame him if he's getting a little ticked off? I think it's fair to criticize Hayward for adopting that attitude, but not without also condemning these politicians who we know don't really give a rat's ass about the racing industry except when they're using it as another political football to try and score points against Spitzer. So I'm going to give Hayward the benefit of the doubt on this one.

17 Comments:

Anonymous said...

You are ruining what was otherwise a great racing blog with all this talk of politics. There is no difference between spitzer/bruno/pataki (add your favorite politician's name here).
they are all crooks and that's why we'll ened up with thirty more years of the inept crooks at NYRA running racing into the ground.

Teresa said...

Thanks for all of these updates; I've been following the NYRA/franchise for years, never really sure that I understand what's going on, and your even-handed elucidation of the issues makes for great, informed reading. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about the same Gov.Spitzer who wants to give licences to people who invade our country?

alan said...

>>Are we talking about the same Gov.Spitzer who wants to give licences to people who invade our country?

The Governor is proposing to document people who have already "invaded" our country due to lax border enforcement and other factors.....rather than have them run around completely undocumented, and drive without licenses or insurance. I support his plan.

Ernie Munick said...

I feel it essential that Allan continues to talk and analyze the politics of racing. I count on him and Crist for the "hard" stuff. No hard stuff, no quality racing in NY. I could not do what Allan does. Hard workers should be respected. Who blogs harder than Allan?

"You are ruining what was otherwise a great racing blog with all this talk of politics."

Ernie Munick said...

Alan, not Allan

sorry

Erdie Mudick

Anonymous said...

>>Are we talking about the same Gov.Spitzer who wants to give licences to people who invade our country?

>>The Governor is proposing to document people who have already "invaded" our country due to lax border enforcement and other factors.....rather than have them run around completely undocumented, and drive without licenses or insurance. I support his plan.

Agree with you about lax border enforcement,Can you give me the name of a Liberal politician who wants to secure the Border?

Sounds like you want to legalize the 20+million who invaded our country.

alan said...

>>Can you give me the name of a Liberal politician who wants to secure the Border?

I don't think there's a politician of any stripe, at least amongst those who wish to continue their political career, who would come out and say that he/she is not in favor of a secure border at this point in time.

I don't really have an impassioned opinion on the issue you raise of the illegals currently in the country. No, I don't think there should be a blanket amnesty; but I think the problem has to be dealt with in a fair and rational manner given the fact that they are here, have been officially tolerated and acknowledged by people such as Rudy Giuliani (the pre-presidential candidate Rudy) and, in some cases, being productive and law-abiding residents (other than the fact that they're here illegally). However, it just makes sense to me that, from a security standpoint, it's better to have people documented and registered in some way than for them to be invisible. And, though I get the feeling that you may not a big fan of the NY Times, they do have a story today claiming that at least some terrorist and security experts in the government agree with Spitzer's proposal. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Anonymous said...

I say call Hayward's bluff! He is a scab on racing. GET RID OF NYRA

BTW Allen, think about all those Dem visits back to Brooklyn, Bruno was just the one with the troopers writing it all down.

Say it, you have a huge ax to grind with Bruno Friends et al.

Don't you think some entity could do better than NYRA?

Oh yeah, but they had a few thousand buttons for the Belle of Belmont.

Geez isn't that sumpin.

The state should make the claim on the land and let NYRA deal with that.

Anonymous said...

BTW.

You shouldn't look for level coverage on NYRA from Crist. He worked at NYRA for years then made $$$millions with his business partner (huckster) CHARLES HAYWARD when they sold the DRF a couple of years ago.

alan said...

>>Say it, you have a huge ax to grind with Bruno Friends et al.

I have a huge ax to grind with Bruno Friends et al.

>>Don't you think some entity could do better than NYRA?

Yes. But none of them bid for the franchise.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame the Invaders.If it were me,I would spend every waking hour to get my Family into this Country.

I would make sure they had free Health care,Housing and Schooling.
It's too good to pass up.

Thank you American taxpayer.

Two times a year I like to read about the NY Times.you guessed it.One is coming up pretty soon.
And that is,How much has there circulation dropped?

Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.

Teresa said...

Can't resist jumping in: I'd much rather have my tax dollars go to supporting hard-working families of whatever origin, than to taking down innocent people around the world.

Unfortunately, I don't have a choice, because the latter isn't considered illegal.

Anonymous said...

>>Can't resist jumping in: I'd much rather have my tax dollars go to supporting hard-working families of whatever origin

I'm sure your not talking about the 1/3 of Immigrants in the U.S.jail system.
Over 300,000 hard working criminals.

Anonymous said...

Alan, with the drivers license fiasco on top of the other ill-advised Spitzer moves, Spitzer keeps handing Bruno more ammunition with which to bring down, or at least neutralize, the Albany autocrat. Spitzer really doesn't have a clue about executive leadership, about being a governor! He still thinks he's AG and can beat everybody in court, or intimidate them into settling. He should stop by and see Slick Willie in Chappaqua and take lessons in how to be a governor. And NY racing is apparently at the mercy of these 2 guys, Bruno and Spitzer??!! /S/Green Mtn Punter

Anonymous said...

Talking about licenses for illegals.

Alan said-
"It just makes sense to me that, from a security standpoint, it's better to have people documented and registered in some way than for them to be invisible"

Dissagree..
If a terrorist and his buddies are in this country illegally and want to board a plane it would be very difficult without a license.However, if he and his pals have licenses they can then board the plane and do enormous damage.
I guess by giving them licenses at least we'll know who did the damages.

Anonymous said...

Hayward has reason to act belligerent, as the sweat on his palms has him rather unnerved. What about his old "racing will and should continue, NYRA or not" speeches he was making over the last year? He's a phony and a puppet for a losing selfish cause. Certainly not what's best for the State of New York.