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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is That All There Is?

- Senate Republicans have capitulated on the Delaware North racino at the Big A. In the big picture, the additional week and a half of delay since Governor Paterson's selection of the company is not a big deal. What's another $10-11 million when the state is facing a deficit that Paterson has of late been variously tagging as anywhere from $2 - $2.5 billion for this year? However, it's certainly fair to ask what exactly did the Republican conference achieve here?

Well, we've read some vague statements by Delaware North that, yeah, we really did intend all along to (maybe) build a hotel and make Ozone Park an entertainment destination, and the community got some face time with the company that had ignored it before. If they extracted anything specific from Delaware North, it's as secret as the rest of this process has been. But it seems to me at this point that what the Republicans really wanted was this: a chance for embattled 28-year incumbent State Senator Serphin Maltese to announce his party's acceptance of the deal during a televised debate with Democrat Joseph Addabbo Jr on Wednesday night. "We were trying to protect the community," he told the Daily News.

"Delaware North responded to the concerns [voiced] by Queens community residents and has provided more detailed information and a commitment to develop the area surrounding the track to ensure that Aqueduct becomes a destination venue with quality retail, business, hotel, conference and entertainment facilities," Maltese said in a statement. "With this commitment in hand, the Senate will agree to the selection of Delaware North so this important project can go forward." [Bloodhorse]
And that's about it. Of course, Maltese's posturing could earn him a few hundred more votes on Election Day, which could be enough to turn the tight race in his favor, which, in turn, could in theory be enough for the Republicans to maintain control of the Senate. So it could be a very big deal for the party, and the state, in that respect.

But silly me for actually thinking that the GOP was going to righteously go to the mat over a proposal by a company represented by lobbyists tied to the governor and Speaker which, by all accounts anyway (since we've never seen the details of the bids), lacked the long term vision and potential of the others. And over a process conducted completely behind closed doors, the rules of which seemed to change as we went along, giving Delaware North a chance to amend their proposal - "in writing," according to Maltese. Perhaps Delaware North really has made a firm commitment to expand beyond the "slots in a box" concept that they've been accused of proposing, and maybe the Republicans' effort will turn out to be worthwhile in the long run. But for now, I can't help but suspect that it was all nothing more than trying to win an election, pure and simple.

12 Comments:

Glimmerglass said...

Ouch - not the best step by Halsey Minor to come out against Maryland having slots. Baltimore Sun/Associated Press Oct 22 'Potential buyer of Pimlico, Laurel tracks opposes slots'

I don't think he'll be welcomed at Pimlico any time soon for that stance. A bit of advice to Minor: be quiet until the election and if Maryland wins or losses slots then work with you'll have or not have.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen anything from Senator Skelos yet this morning on Maltese's remarks? For some reason, I just can't believe that this boat will float.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be ironic if this capitulating by Maltese backfired at the polls? What makes the GOP so sure this announcement will secure Maltese the few hundred votes he needs?
I can't believe Skelos is letting the Dems get away with making him the designated eleventh hour A**hole for holding things up, when the whole process has been held up for years.

Anonymous said...

yeah, the process smells like an old gym bag! Maybe Skelos is going to blame Paterson and Silver and just say "We were following your lead," if this stinky deal is ever deemed "dirty?"

Anonymous said...

This legislative limburger got more odiferous the minute Spitzer threw NYRA its 25 year lifeline, and continues to grow more rank every day. Oh, for a large goblet of fat red wine to kill the taste and the smell?

Anonymous said...

How about the Dems this morning chiding the Reps for costing taxpayers $13 million for not jumping on board right away with the Gov and slick Shelly. Let me see, Skelos and Maltese want to be certain everything is correct, and they get blamed for being prudent with a critical determination? I wonder if Paterson got the heads up to choose DelNorth from his tax deadbeat pal O'Byrne? maybe Don Peebles, good friend of the Kennedy-Shriver clans, promised to loan money to Charles the next time he decided not to pay a bill in order to worm his way into this deal? Where are the voices of the intelligent NYorkers that should be disgusted with their pols in Albany?

Anonymous said...

Did CapPlay/Mohegan & S.L Green get a chance to ammend and further explain their bids? Has either losing competitor issued any statements yet?

Anonymous said...

I didn't know anything about this Father O'Byrne, but he's apparently a well-connected tax dodge whale.
Why aren't the good, timely tax paying NY citizens who haven't made nearly as much money as this guy outraged by his behavior?

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/state/ny-stobyr235894625oct23,0,1259063.story

Okay, I'm depressed because I'm a high-functioning, but lousy bettor. Can one of the Kennedys cover my BC wagers this weekend?

Steve Zorn said...

BloodHorse says it's official, with Skelos on board as well as the doddering Maltese. Delaware North has posted a picture of Fantasy Aqueduct, with the never-to-be-built hotel, shops and conference center. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Anonymous said...

O'Byrne's a betting whale or just in presence? Wouldn't that be the cat's meow if he is a big bettor who doesn't pay taxes and was all along involved in the NYRA and subsequent Delaware north decisions. the latest news on O'Byrne not having completed a background check is elightening as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. Let's hope there are no former altar boy "smoking guns" out there for the Father as well.
This just gets messier and more intriguing by the minute, doesn't it?
Murdoch will sell lots of newspapers if this keeps up.

Anonymous said...

Keen minds on this blog. Far more perceptive than most.