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Monday, March 10, 2008

Spitzer Fiddled While Franchise Drama Burned

- Reading the accounts of Governor Spitzer's alleged conversations with the proprietors of the Emperor's Club prostitution ring, the date on which the rendezvous occurred seemed quite familiar. And there's good reason why. It transpired on February 13. And it was on that day that NYRA's temporary extension was to expire, and on which the drama built to its climax. So, as Steve Duncker issued his ultimatum, as the press reports varied between optimism and despair depending on which you were reading, as legislators on both side of the aisle and representatives of the industries (both thoroughbred and harness) worked diligently to hammer out an agreement (to the benefit of the horsemen in both sports), with the short-term and, in the case of the harness tracks, long-term future of the racing industry in NY very much in doubt, with peoples' livelihoods hanging in the balance, the Governor of New York was working feverishly too. Just that it was on a private matter, as he called it today.

Six times, from the evening of Feb 12, through the day and night of franchise deadline day, Spitzer allegedly had six telephone conversations with the defendants, five of which he initiated, trying to arrange his meeting with Kristen that night, at times in negotiations over payments which may have been as tense and intricate as those going on in Albany. (This is all, of course, alleged....however, Spitzer implicitly affirmed his involvement with his statement today...and his voice was apparently caught on tape. Any chance of him raising the Roger Stone defense and claiming that Joe Bruno hired Rich Little to impersonate his voice?)

In addition to that, he somehow arranged for the hotel staff to leave his room door unlocked, but not in a way that it would make it look unlocked. (Oh man...); and managed to come up with $4300, which I presume he did not withdraw from an OTB account, as a deposit so as not to be hassled like that again next time. (Which prompted reader jk and the Village Voice to wonder if he's due a refund).

None of this should, of course, come as a surprise. Well, yeah, the prostitution thing is certainly a surprise...but not the fact that Spitzer's priorities did not include horse racing in New York. His lack of interest was apparent right from the start. He pursued the franchise path of least resistance in surrendering the land claim, never showed any sign of educating himself to even the barest details of the situation, delegated responsibility to committees which conducted meaningless hearings that ultimately added nothing to the equation, and displayed his disinterest with statements to the press as hollow and empty as the one today. The only thing I read him say about the franchise negotiations over those two days was his misstatement that the negotiations were in the backstretch. To paraphrase Ice Cube, this account contained in the indictment can serve as Exhibit A of Spitzer telling the state's racing industry, "Here's what I thought about you!"

16 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonder if this has Roger Stone's fingerprints on it....would not be a surprise at all...

Ernie said...

"...on which the drama built to its climax"

No pun intended

Anonymous said...

Roger Stone did not call the hooker service, Spitzer did, so get off of relocating the blame. Keep a close eye on the relationship between Spitzer and Duncker. It's not new to people that could see, just those that chose to close their eyes.

Anonymous said...

So the guy who didn't care about horse racing picked NYRA. . . Kristen.

Michael said...

Prosecutors reportedly have a series of e-mails and wiretapped phone conversations of Spitzer.

In a interview two years ago, Spitzer, then-attorney general, told ABC News he had some advice for people who break the law. "Never talk when you can nod, and never nod when you can wink, and never write an e-mail because it's death. You're giving prosecutors all the evidence we need," he said.

Anonymous said...

How much do you think spitzer spent on Escorts?$100,000?,$200,000?
Have any Democrats call for Spitzer to resign yet?

Glimmerglass said...

Well interesting it looks like "Client 9" is gone from being the Governor - at least per the webmaster for the State ;>

google "ny state" when you look at the entry for the WWW.NY.GOV on the google page you'll note it says (below the hyper link of January 31, 2007) - "Governor David Paterson"

How soon before someone names a horse "clientnine"? Or "seven diamonds"? Although I don't think its been disclosed if Kristen was rated 7 diamonds or not.

alan said...

>>Although I don't think its been disclosed if Kristen was rated 7 diamonds or not.

Considering that the bill was only like $2500 for the night, I think that Kristen was something like a 35K claimer. (I hope she's not reading this.)

alan said...

....and great catch on that Google result!!

Valerie said...

Too bad one of your hunch bets for Monday wasn't this eventual winner in the first at Hawthorne: Awesomewithbroads ($15.20). Notice the comment line "wore down rival"...lol!
http://www.equibase.com/static/chart/pdf/HAW031008USA1.pdf

Valerie said...

And then too look at other place-finishers at Hawthorne on Monday:
race 2 Pleasurable ($3.80 show)
race 3 Digi Mama ($53.60 win)
race 7 Sultry Venture ($24.80 win)
race 8 Cool Lover ($4.60 show)

It was in the card... :)

Glimmerglass said...

>> Considering that the bill was only like $2500 for the night, I think that Kristen was something like a 35K claimer. (I hope she's not reading this.) <<

Ah, but like The Green Monkey, beauty and potential can be priced at 7 diamonds+ but fail to live up to that promise :)

I still am trying to wrap my head around the transcript of Kristen: "I'd be like, 'listen, dude, you really want the sex?"

Dude? All I can think of is The Big Lebowski.

Anonymous said...

So the two men who exposed all of the "corruption" and "mismanagement" at NYRA (a) resigned office in disgrace for using State resources to provide personal services (Hevesi) and (b) stand accused of committing Federal crimes involving prostitution (Spitzer).

What a shame that the real problem with racing in New York - the broken business model - has taken a back seat these past four years due to the sham investigations instigated by these two lying thieves for their own personal gain.

Anonymous said...

The political maxim- with the Spitz' corollary- mentioned by Michael was the creation of a legendary Boston pol named Martin Lomasney and it went: "Never write when you can speak; never speak when you can nod; never nod when you can wink." Lomasney was the Boss in the West End, Ward 8, and is said to have invented the cocktail of the same name at Locke-Ober, Boston's legendary downtown Brahmin dining establishment. Just for the record. Has since been seen as the key to success by successful pols, hacks, and mobsters everywhere! /S/Green Mtn Punter

Anonymous said...

Anon 735, could not have written it better.

I'll repeat my question from yesterday, does this impact in any way the proposed franchise extension?

Btw, Big Joe automatically moves to Lt Gov with Patterson ascension.

Irony is, that job is meaningless and will cost the Rep's their slim majority, so presume he will decline.

alan said...

>>I'll repeat my question from yesterday, does this impact in any way the proposed franchise extension?

Haven't seen anything that specifically addresses that. But I would think that, in theory, it shouldn't. Spitzer himself wasn't really involved anyhoo.


>>Btw, Big Joe automatically moves to Lt Gov with Patterson ascension.

Irony is, that job is meaningless and will cost the Rep's their slim majority, so presume he will decline.


My understanding is that he would serve as the ACTING Lt Gov. So I would think that it would not effect the head count in the Senate. However, in the case that the Dems gain an additional Senate seat, Ol Joe would now cast the tiebreaking vote. So the Dems quest to take over the Senate would take a step back.