Paul Post, reporting for the Saratogian and for the Thoroughbred Times, reports that Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos and Governor Paterson "traded barbs" over the stalled racino at Aqueduct. As you may recall, Skelos originally objected to the selection of Delaware North back when he, still the Majority Leader, had a chance to actually do something about it. You may recall that Democrats accused him of costing the state $1 million a day, and even posted a calculator. Skelos instead quickly gave in, allowing ex-State Senator Serph Maltese to take credit for getting a better deal for the community in a failed attempt to boost his campaign hopes.
Governor Paterson said of the failure thus far to finalize an MOU:
“We knew and pointed out that the MOU process would be about six months.....We’re right on time.” [The Saratogian]OK, I happen to like the governor, and I want him to succeed. I think that a good deal of the criticism over his Senate selection process was unfair, and that he's acted responsibly and reasonably to close the deficit while in an impossible position politically. But that statement is a load of crap that smells enough to make the Big A backstretch seem like the fragrance aisle at Macy's. The opening paragraph of the press release issued by the governor's office announcing the deal asserted that Delaware North "will look to break ground on the new facility in Queens by early 2009." There was never even a mention of an MOU at that point; and if it was going to take six months to agree on one, then breaking ground wouldn't occur until the spring at the earliest. So we are not "right on time" Mr. Governor.
“This is the first we’re hearing of his expectation that this was going to take six months to finalize,” [Skelos] spokesman Scott Reif said. [Thoroughbred Times]To whom is it exactly that Paterson "pointed out" the expected delay? Charles O'Byrne? Sadly, there have been a number of occasions on which Paterson's truthfulness has been questioned. So his credibility in this matter is shaky. By claiming that the project is "right on time," his respect for our intelligence is non-existent.