- Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' spokesperson John McArdle, who I guess is the resident spokesperson for whomever the GOP Senate Majority Leader is, called Tuesday's meeting between the Senator and Delaware North "very productive." Skelos, who was accompanied by Del North lobbyist Patricia Lynch and developer Don Peebles, traveled to Buffalo for the meeting.....though don't think for a moment that the trip was purely for state business. He also took the opportunity to campaign for GOP State Senate candidate Michael Ranzenhofer, who is locked in a tight race with Democrat "Baby" Joe Mesi, the former heavyweight boxer, in another absolutely crucial swing race that will help to determine control of the chamber. Another one of those mixed state business/politics trips, and I forgot, who pays for those now in the wake of Troopergate? The Aqueduct racino is tied up with this election in many ways to be sure.
"We didn't put politics in the middle of this," McArdle said, "but there was an endorsement the day before the governor announced his selection. I find it ironic that people say we're playing politics, when it was just the opposite." [Associated Press]Del North president William Bissett, who no doubt presented Senator Skelos with his suddenly-enhanced plan, said: "We were very encouraged with the meeting."
Skelos told the company executives to now work with community leaders in Queens to get them to better understand their plan for the site. As for a decision timetable, McArdle said that will depend on the company’s success in getting backing in Queens. [Buffalo News]Skelos can soon drop by Community Board 10 to see how that's going, and make a campaign stop for Senator Maltese at the same time.
I reminded you guys a few days ago that Delaware North's lobbying team includes people close to Speaker Sheldon Silver. Forgot to mention as well that Patricia Lynch's team also includes David Brand, described as one of Gov. David Paterson's closest friends. Senator Skelos surely must not be feeling the love here, and one can understand his frustration on several levels.