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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sticking with Sinking Ships

Whilst many others have long turned their backs and had nothing but harsh words, I've stubbornly stuck to my guns on two matters on this blog - Governor Paterson and the New York Rangers. Now, both ships have sunk fast after quick starts, and I'm stuck out on a very lonely limb. The Broadway Blueshirts have lost ten out of 12 and find their playoff position in dire jeopardy. The Governor's poll numbers have plummeted, to the point that some close observers of Albany are not persuaded that he will not even run for re-election next year.

* Paterson is now viewed favorably by 40 percent of voters and unfavorably by 47 percent, down from last month’s 54-30 percent favorable rating, and his high of 64-19 percent in November.
* His job performance rating is 28 percent positive, 69 percent negative down from 51-45 percent positive last month.
* Currently, only 19 percent of voters are prepared to elect Paterson as Governor in 2010, compared to 57 percent who prefer “someone else.” That’s down from 32-36 percent last month, and 42-32 percent in November.

The 2010 matchups are striking. Cuomo now beats Paterson in a Democratic primary nearly 2-1 - Cuomo gained 20 points in just one month. In a general election, Paterson trails Giuliani by 15 points, while Cuomo leads Giuliani by 13 points. [Capitol Confidential]
Ugh. As much as I still do like Paterson, despite his occasional stumbles and his, let's say, statements of dubious veracity on Delaware North and other matters, I'd dump him in a second if it meant that the despicable slimeball ex-mayor of NYC becomes governor, perish the thought.

I continue to insist that Paterson's decline is largely based on the unfair and largely false perception that he botched the Senate selection process. As I've asserted before, any "circus" atmosphere around the process was nearly all created by the press, and by the candidates who went public with their ambitions. Though it did reach a point at which he should have ended it, I have to agree with him here:
Paterson reiterated his initial goal had been to wait for Clinton to be confirmed as secretary of state before announcing his choice in case something happened to derail her nomination.

“I didn’t think that would happened to Senator Clinton, and it didn’t," he said. "But it would have been a very difficult thing because I would have had to stand here for months and you ask me: ‘Well why would you make the pick before the person left office, David, what were you doing?' And you know you would ask me that question.” [Daily Politics]
The governor was not going to win here either way.

Still, I will go on record as keeping the faith, on both accounts. In both cases, personnel changes have been made. The Rangers have a new coach in John Tortorella, a man with a personality and coaching philosophy so diametrically opposed to the passive Tom Renney (who did, for the most part, a great job in guiding the team to the playoffs three straight years after they missed them for nine), that it can't help but spark this group. The Blueshirts are still in the hunt, and they showed grit and determination during the early months of the campaign. I still believe they're a team with heart and significantly more offensive talent than they've shown of late.

Paterson has brought back tax-scandalized aide Charles O'Byrne as a political advisor for the 2010 campaign. And it sure sounds from this as if more changes are on the way. While I'm not as confident as I am regarding my hockey heroes, Paterson has plenty of time and material with which to turn things around, should he succeed in guiding the budget process to an acceptable conclusion. Of course, given the inherent unpopularity that goes with closing such a gaping budget gap, and the attacks that come with it, that won't be easy. But I won't abandon this ship either.....yet.

31 Comments:

jk said...

Maybe this news will cheer you up....


http://tinyurl.com/ct9j6h

Former Islanders owners Greenwood and Walsh arrested on securities fraud charges

BY Thomas Zambito
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, February 25th 2009, 12:09 PM


Two former members of the New York Islanders' infamous Gang of Four ownership group were arrested on securities fraud charges today for swindling top-flight universities out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

DiscreetPicks said...

Santa Anita - Race 3

#1 My City by the Bay (6/1 ml)

Very quick gelding has run consistently well in turf sprints, most notably when battling stakes winner Delta Storm to the wire back @ Del Mar. Catches a field here without much speed to challenge him early, and new rider Talamo should pop the gate and get this horse out there by himself early. Going a bit further, Brad Free points out in his DRF analysis that early speed has played very well over the downhill course of late, with 7 of the last 17 races having been won gate-to-wire, and 12-of-17 being won by horses within a length of the lead after a quarter-mile. That plays right to this guy's strength, obviously. He has also run quite well off the layoff in his last two attempts. Should fire a big shot here.

El Angelo said...

Alan, I have to disagree. Patterson's seemed like he's in over his head since Day 1.

alan said...

jk - Jeez! Between these guys and Spano, what do you guys do to attract these creeps?

El Angelo - Day 1, that's Spitzer talk! Yeah, I could be way off base on this one, we'll see. Nice guy though.

Anonymous said...

Alan,

If your saying you back Losers I can't disagree.

DiscreetPicks said...

Tough beat on My City by the Bay. He led the whole way and just got nailed at the wire.

Anonymous said...

What will you think of Paterson when he comes out with the administration's strategy to sell of Aqueduct and move everything that would have been there in terms of gaming, enetrtainment, lodging, development to Belmont Park? oh by the way, that means the end of racing at the Big A as well once Belmont is reconstructed. I bet your new Big A area Senator would let you in on the Albany "skinny," concerning this theory.

Anonymous said...

Alan The Delaware North people were had a meeting at Big A today, I do not know what happened. Jason

jk said...

Alan,

do not forget recent owner Sanjay Kumar, now serving 8years.

Anonymous said...

Rude-ee, Rude-ee, Rude-ee

With the empty suit in the Black House, his election is virtually a dead cinch cert.

Rude-ee, Rude-ee, Rude-ee

Anonymous said...

I have believed since day one the goal was to get possession of the land, then sell to the port atrocity and have commented this here numerous times during this whole debacle.

All they needed was some wiggle room which the financial crisis has provided.

DEL NO will be given the rights to develop belmont, and the Big A will go the big racetrack graveyard in the sky, sharing the same fate as it's harness equivalent Roosevelt Raceway.

Anonymous said...

Great article from Andrew Beyer about Marty Wolfson. He could have, though, interviewed Pletcher about the horses Wolfson took over from him and which have blossomed.

Wonder what the stats are on Wolfson in racing meets outside of Florida. How does he do in Kentucky?

Anonymous said...

Ugh, Patterson as Governor is pathetic. He inherited a job that he has no clue. He was a big question mark, as to why Spitzer picked him in the first place. The Saturday Night Live skit on Patterson pegged him perfectly. There are some blind people who "see" better and think better than some people who are not visually impaired. Unfortunately for the people of New York, Patterson is not one of them. Another 21 months of this governor by default can't come soon enough. He was blind and incompetent before he ever became visually impaired, and not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

Delaware North / Aqueduct, boy am I sick of scribing their name.

No-one has mentioned since Paul Post, (below) I believe, about DN lobbying for table games at Aqueduct.

This is where the real monies, have been, All Along !

Table games will happen, at Aqueduct ( even Alan has stated this-must be true ! ) and/or Belmont, after DN has 'won' either franchise

I assumed & hoped only, NY Racing, yes NYRA as well & the Queens community, would also share in these home spoils, although I have believed, it would be, a totally secondary, separate agreement - Yes & with NY State - but No.

Just re-reading -
Paul Post / 10 Dec '08, Thoroughbredtimes. www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2008/December/10/New-York-officials-looking-into-electronic-table-games.aspx

“It’s not our focus right now, but we do believe to address increased competition inside and outside New York, the state will need to address allowing table games at non-native casinos,” Delaware North spokesman Glenn White said...

.....VLTs are overseen by the state’s Division of Lottery. Recently, spokesman John Charlson said that state officials, including members of Governor David Paterson’s staff, have begun studying whether to allow electronic table games.
Lottery officials believe that table games could be introduced without legislative approval, he said.
--------------

Ahh, without Legislative APPROVALl !!!

Once DN has Aqueduct, the NY Racing Sector & Queens Community get NOTHING, because Paterson is off the hook, not his concern.

More one looks at this, cess pool, the more the demons of the deep, appear.

Who knows, who gets what, DN would certainly also have, friendly,
3rd parties, managing/servicing the tables, etc etc...

Anonymous said...

the courts in some jurisdictions have ruled electronic table games, aka, Video Poker, to be the equivalent of VLT's.

So I agree they are coming, but I believe NYRA would share in the proceeds since they, like the approved VLTS' would be considered Lotteries and fall under that commission and the existing agreement.

True table games are clearly unconstitutional under NYS Law and not happening at the tracks.

Pataki bent the rules to approve them on "Native American land", but it would require a constitutional amendment to allow anywhere else, unless of course the Big A was deeded back over to the Mohawks.

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:56 a.m., get your facts checked before posting.

Governor Pataki didn’t bend any rules to permit table games at Indian casinos. First, the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act simply permitted forms of gambling otherwise permissible but without state regulatory constraint. It was the state electorate in 1977 that approved games of chance for certain charitable organizations that opened the door to Indian table gaming. Secondly, Pataki didn’t approve all the compacts: Governor Mario Cuomo signed the Oneida and Mohawk compacts back in 1993.

Bigger issue is how the State Lottery can offer table games as a lottery. My uneducated guess is that the proposed table games are about as close to real table games as the lottery’s video poker: in other words, a consumer fraud. Games designed to appear like you have choice but in fact everything’s predetermined.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

Yr blog echo's, authoritive straight tongue ?

I mentioned, more importantly, benefits to, Queens & Racing Sector,(save NYRA)- how do they stand ??

'Some jurisdictions'. Legal precedents, as we enduring know, does not normally include political, chits plus, NY.


Are u Alan Mann ?

Chief Sasquatch.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

Clarifying - my reference was to
2nd last post - 'Pataki bent the rules'.
No, bet it wasn't Alan, he crosses his TT's.

at least more fodda/feedbk, good in one way.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

this blog moves fast, mean now 3rd last blog. The 7.56am one.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

I can't remember Indian / connections, blogging LATG, on this subject - good, as their gaming power, is undeniably significant.

Don't go away Mr Mohawk, come bk in, as this blog is for all, I'm sure, but abit this blog in particular, be ready to substantiate/contest ones blog.
as it's monitored by many !

Steve Zorn said...

Sorry, Alan. Paterson's office is simply incompetent. There's no one to talk to in the Governor's office who knows anything about racing. And the Governor's budget proposal, at the behest of Delaware North, essentially provides that horsemen -- that's you and I -- won't get an extra cent for purses if Belmont is developed with a racino above what we're scheduled to get if Aqueduct ever opens its slots parlor.

And on that issue, it's clear that Delaware North won't be getting the $300-million-plus from Morgan Stanley, as originally planned, so the deal is almost certainly off, or at least subject to major renegotiation.

Anonymous said...

Siro's For Sale

The Trackside Restaurant, frequented by track goers, trainers, owners and various hangers-ons is on the block for $3.1 million.

Sounds like a great opportunity for you and the Head Chef.

I'm certain there's a government program upcoming from our Socialist President that will allow you to become the state designated operator.

Anonymous said...

Siro's is "Old news", so why would anyone pay the freight as advertised? the prices went so high for drinks and dinner the last couple of years that folks that wanted to be a part of the "scene" stopped coming and those that used to be the "in crowd" went someplace else.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

NY Racino table games.

Yes, following the Lottery Commission's spokesman, John Charlson's comment,(above) & if/when, Aqueduct and/or Belmont, move forward, the Lottery Commission, must then be bought into a direct, 'Line of Fire'.

What will the NY racing sector - Horsemen, their affiliates & Queens Community, get out of it ?

This subject, must be clarified publicly, before closed-door, cattle dealing politics, attempt's again, to exercise control, in the next round - without Delaware North.

Anyone aware if this subject was covered, in NY State's MOU, for the last lot of Aqueduct vetted bidders ?

Anonymous said...

To clarify, my 756am comment, was referring to the deal at Monticello, none of which is/was true Native American land, not to the upstate facilities.

Any independent assessment of that deal would recognize that no Native American Reservation exists at that site and it is certainly not a charitable venture.

No matter how the apologist spin the matter, I truly believe it violates the NY State Constitution.

In my opinion, any such attempt to install true table games (not video poker) at Belmont would also violate the constitution, which is the point of my comment.

806am, I apologize for not having an editor or fact checker on staff, did not know that was a prerequisite for commenting.

I am a lonely old blog reader/commenter and never have pretended to be a journalist. I will attempt to better clarify in the future so as not to make you choke on your coffee.

alan said...

Methinks that true table games at the racinos, while inevitable, are probably a ways off at this point when the state can't even move forward on what would presumably be New York's flagship racino. First step will likely be electronic versions, which is being pushed by Cappelli for his Concord/Monticello Raceway project (which now appears to have fallen prey to the conditions.) He's proven to be quite persuasive in the past, considering all of the tax breaks and the 75% revenue cut he's managed to get.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

7.56am blogger.

You've got style & guts, apologizing so.
Unfortunately this disqualifies u from NY politics & this subject…haha. - Welcome.

alan said...

>>Siro's For Sale

Sounds like a great opportunity for you and the Head Chef.

I'm certain there's a government program upcoming from our Socialist President that will allow you to become the state designated operator.>>


Great idea. We can call it the Commie Homo Lovin' Cafe.

Anonymous said...

No word in the MOU about table games. But perhaps language in the "Conditions Precedent" section to further explain current delays: ...... "there shall be no pending litigation seeking review of such actions; (governmental action required to authorize the conveyances of the Project Premises to Vendor) and any litigation seeking review of such governmental actions that had previously been initiated shall have been settled and claims therin dismissed or withdrawn with prejudice or shall have been resolved in a decision upholding the vaildity of such governmental action from which no appeal can be taken or for which the time to appeal has expired."

Maybe one of the other two bidders has proposed filing something against the state or Delaware North claiming something wasn't fair or right in the procurement process?

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

answer to blog 9.33am.
Maybe one of the other two bidders has proposed filing something against the state or Delaware North claiming something wasn't fair or right in the procurement process?
------------
Or other friendly parties, whereby binding agreements were once signed with Delaware North...Empire Racing & others, for instance.

Anonymous said...

W H, Cheers!

756am.