- The Democrats want to get some political mileage out of the Aqueduct racino too. So Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith said in a statement:
Better late than never. Unfortunately, Senator Skelos’ foot-dragging has already cost the State $13 million in VLT revenue that will never be recaptured. But thanks to the leadership of Governor Paterson, Speaker Sheldon Silver, and members of my conference, especially Senator Bill Stachowski, who lead this fight on their behalf, New Yorkers from Upstate and Downstate can today celebrate a major economic boost just when we need it most. [Via Capital Confidential]So, I see that $13 million is the Democrats' "official" tally of how much Senator Skelos cost the state. How much then did the Democratic governors Paterson and Spitzer cost it with their interminable delay in choosing an operator in the first place? It's like both of them suffered from non-selector syndrome. The "leadership" of Paterson and Silver on this matter? This has to be one of the most ridiculous statements we've heard in the entire process.
Senator Stachowski is the Democrats' own endangered incumbent, so no surprise that he got a shout-out here from Smith. But funny, I hadn't heard any substantive input on the matter from Stachowski, who represents Delaware North's hometown of Buffalo, whatsoever, no less "leadership". I think he's been too busy figuring out just how he's fallen behind Republican challenger Dennis Delano in a year in which none of the Dems' Senate seats were supposed to be in danger.
- A knowledgeable reader writes in to point out that long a fixture on Delaware North's lobbying team is Jim Crane at Crane and Sanders (f/k/a Crane, Vacco, and Sanders). Indeed, a look at the Project Sunlight website shows that Del North was paying them some $20,000 a month, at least through February of this year. The reader informs me that Crane and his wife Connie have "long been associated with the State Republican party and the Senate in particular." And former partner Dennis Vasco is a former GOP Attorney General of the state. So Delaware North's political connections have not been limited to the Democrats.