- Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' opposition to Governor Paterson's selection of Delaware North is not due to his anger over the governor's involvement in the Senate races, nor an attempt to put slots at Belmont back in play; but rather, he's simply listening to the Queens community, where leaders prefer a destination venue with hotels and a major brand, not just a video slots parlor in a box. That is, at least, according to "people close to Skelos," as reported today on the Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog.
However, Fred Dicker reports in the NY Post that Skelos is privately describing Gov. Paterson as a double-crossing liar, claiming that Paterson personally assured him that he would not involve himself in the election. And the growing animosity between the two was on display at the public budget meeting on October 3.
Of course, Paterson's folks aren't taking that accusation lying down.
But aides to Paterson claim it was Skelos (R-Nassau) who went back on his promise to work with Paterson - especially on the state's worsening fiscal situation - and, as a result, they say the governor now wants to see the Democrats take control of the Senate for the first time since 1965.There's supposed to be some kind of unwritten "understanding" that the sitting governor does not intercede in the legislative elections. Spitzer unrepentantly cast that notion to the wind. Paterson had been more coy about his intentions, especially when his buddy Bruno was still around. But he's clearly taken off the gloves now. The governor has been raising money for Democratic Senate candidates, transferring money to those in pivotal swing races, and endorsing specific candidates. As mentioned previously, he endorsed Joseph Addabbo Jr., the NYC Councilman running against GOP incumbent Serph Maltese in the district that includes Aqueduct (Maltese has expressed reservations about the Delaware North bid).
...Paterson has told friends that he finds Skelos - unlike the recently retired Bruno - almost impossible to deal with.
"I think David initially thought he could work better with Dean than with [Minority Leader Malcolm Smith], but that's no longer the case," said a source close to Paterson. [NY Post]
And on Friday, Paterson, for the first time in one of the contested Senate races against a sitting GOP Senator, personally attended a fundraiser; this for Rick Dollinger, who he has described as a personal friend. Coming on the same day as the Delaware North announcement, this certainly could not have pleased Skelos.
Paterson said he would personally swear Dollinger back in to the Senate and said, “It would be the most exciting experience if he came back and that this election brought the Senate Democrats in the majority.” [Politics on the Hudson]Late last month, Dollinger was rated 11 points behind Republican incumbent - and one-time Democrat - Joe Robach in the Siena College poll.
- Delaware North President William J. Bissett says that, contrary to what has been reported, its Big A bid includes more than just slots in a box.
The other developments would be undertaken once the casino succeeds.
“We’ve always viewed this project as one of staged development,” he said.
..Bissett said nothing guarantees that competitors actually will build the hotel, retail and entertainment space. And he questioned the estimates of revenue that the state would receive over 30 years.
“We’ve gone in a very conservative fashion so the state can rely on the numbers we project,” he said. [Buffalo News]