- Paul Post reports from the Arizona symposium, where NYRA president Charles Hayward appeared on a panel, that a Memorandum of Understanding between and amongst the relevant parties involved in the Aqueduct racino has still not been signed.
“They’re just working on finalizing language and details,” Delaware North spokesman Glenn White said. “We’re still looking at early 2009 to start construction; early spring at the latest.”Given the history of this endeavor along with current market conditions, I'll consider that part about 'early spring at the latest' as a definitive statement that we won't see any construction until racing moves to Belmont. But hey, why should I be suspicious, just because the economy has fallen apart, and development deals are being canceled left and right? And exactly when is the state going to raise that $250 million in construction costs in a morbid municipal market?
Delaware North met with state and NYRA officials at Aqueduct last week to discuss the project.
White said that Delaware North is still finalizing its development, construction, and budget timetables. Partnering agreements are also being worked out and the company is beginning to secure construction contractors, he said. [Thoroughbred Times]
- I'm pretty confident that Governor Paterson doesn't need to read this post from Daily Politics on How Not to Pick a Senator. Illinois ex-governor to be Rod Blagojevich makes ex-governor Eliot Spitzer look like a genius in comparison, and shows us what a real criminal governor looks and sounds like. There's a slight similarity in the circumstances in that in both cases, federal prosecutors stumbled upon the transgressions while looking for something else. But, other than the fact that they're both foul-mouthed Democrats, the similarity ends there.
Paterson has to be privately seething over the pressure being applied by friends, relatives, and supporters of Caroline Kennedy in the matter of Hillary Clinton's replacement. It has to be an unanticipated development in what already has to be an unwanted distraction for the governor in light of the budget crisis, and the problems the Democrats are having solidifying their numerical majority in the State Senate. The idea has apparently already caught on with the public, at least according to a Marist College poll which indicates that 25% of NY registered voters favor Ms. Kennedy's selection. That's tied with the support shown in the poll for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Personally, I don't think either of them will end up being the one - Cuomo's chances are slim, and Ms. Kennedy's absolutely none in my view. No way in the world that Paterson gives in and selects a woman from downstate with no legislative nor campaign experience whatsoever. And I don't think that Cuomo wants the job. Paterson told the NY Daily News: "He indicated to me that he has some things he's working on....He's not really sure if he could be available." After four years as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Clinton Administration II, and in his current stint as the most powerful state attorney general in the country, Cuomo, who will certainly someday be the Governor of New York, is used to running the show, and I just don't see him as harboring ambitions to be a junior senator from New York.