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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Silver in Charge

One of the nine budget bills on the desks of New York State legislators (only seven actually having been printed in time to be passed by the deadline of March 31) is the Education, Labor and Family Assistance Article VII Bill and Revenue Bill [large, and not very interesting, PDF file]. Like the other eight, it was negotiated entirely in secret amongst the three Democrats in a room. This is the section which contains the racing law, and unaltered is the section which prohibits slots at the "racetracks of the non-profit association known as Belmont Park racetrack and the Saratoga thoroughbred racetrack."

As you may recall, there was a time not long ago when it was thought that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would use slots at Belmont, which he staunchly opposes, as a bargaining chip to obtain something like the "millionaires" tax agreed to by the three leaders, and which the governor had opposed. Now however, it's been widely reported from Albany that Silver is the one calling the shots given Governor Paterson's continued slide in the polls, and Senate Majority Leader Malcom Smith's tenuous hold on his 32-30 majority which includes indicted Senator Hiram Monsaratte (whose explanation of how his girlfriend came to be accidentally slashed by a broken glass reminds me of this classic SNL skit, and boy I wish I could find that one on You Tube!)

So Silver got his tax (subject to approval on the Senate floor), making only minor concessions, and clearly sounding, at least from Nicholas Confessore's account in the Times, like a man comfortably in charge.

However, in a concession to Senate Democrats, Mr. Silver agreed to allow the new taxes to be phased out after three years, rather than the five years he had originally advocated — a time period that would have created enormous political pressure to maintain the increase indefinitely. In a concession to Mr. Paterson, who favored a simpler structure, the three-bracket rate favored by Mr. Silver was reduced to two. [NY Times]
So I don't know how much we'll be hearing about Belmont in the short-term, especially once the Aqueduct selection fiasco resumes after the budget is finalized.

- Certainly not surprised upon my return from vacation to see that Democrat Scott Murphy leads the Republican Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco in the latest Siena poll regarding Tuesday's special House election in the 20th CD to replace Senator Gillibrand. Tedisco once led the then-unknown businessman by 12 points, but he has frittered that away with his tacky negative campaign ads and his ridiculous, and clearly failed, attempt to portray Murphy's stated support for the federal stimulus bill as an endorsement of the AIG bonuses. The Democrats are sending in the big guns - a fundraising appeal and a GOTV flyer went out in President Obama's name, and Senator Gillibrand, enormously popular in the region, accompanied Murphy on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Republicans are using Pat Boone.

The poll shows that voters have been turned off by the negative ads by both candidates, but particularly those by Tedisco. "Only 14 percent of those who have seen Tedisco’s commercials are more likely to support him, while 37 percent say the ads make them less likely to support Tedisco (12-28 percent two weeks ago)." Nonetheless, despite those findings, the National Republican Campaign Committee has elected to send in its old standby. That's right, Osama bin Laden himself. Seems that Murphy stated his opposition to the death penalty, even in the case of terrorists, so the obviously desperate GOP rolled out this ad. I think it's fair to say that mostly all of us, Democrats and Republicans not named Rush Limbaugh or Dick Cheney alike, are sick of this crap. Maybe, and hopefully, this ad will actually seal Tedisco's fate. As a commenter on the Times Union's Capital Confidential blog wrote: The NRCC has insisted on putting the nails in Tedisco’s political coffin. I’m expecting a last minute visit from Sarah Palin!


jk said...

Tonight is a big moment of truth for the Rangers. In other news,

NYRA is selling some of their real estate holdings....

03/25/09 at 12:00PM
New York commercial properties emerging on the auction block

By Dan Weil

Auctions are already gaining momentum on the residential end, and commercial property owners in New York City are also starting to turn to them to unload properties.

David R. Maltz & Co., a Plainview, NY-based auction company, is slated to auction 64 surplus tax lots owned by the New York horse Racing Association in Ozone Park, Queens, near the Aqueduct Racetrack on May 13. The parcels, which the NYRA has owned for more than 20 years, range from 2,000 to 75,000 square feet and are mostly in residential developments.

Alan Mann said...

jk - Ya, huge night for the Blueshirts to be sure.

Are these some of the same properties that the state wouldn't let NYRA sell when they were fighting over who owned the land? How much less would you guess those plots are worth today?

Anonymous said...

You must be doing fine in New York Alan. I see your budget is 132 billion with lots of tax increases for the rich pigs. Murphy should win the election easily - he is another tax and spend liberal that is perfect for congress. Don't worry abou Bin Laden - Obama is going to get him. Sarah Palin - what a hoot. Joe Biden is so great. I see his daughter is a coke head. Maybe her and Obama could do some blow together.

You better hope those rich pigs don't leave New York.

jk said...


I am not sure of the history of NYRA's real estate but no doubt it is a bad time to sell. The NYC market is down at least 25% with more pain to come.

On the budget, the LIRR Belmont train will be cut unless there is a MTA bailout. I hope Mr. Heyward is hard at work to save the train service.

jk said...

Here is the link to the NYRA land auction.

steve in nc said...

Welcome back A.M.!

Anon 12:45, are you among the 12% that groove to attack ads, or are you hoping the producers will see your posts and hire you to write them? (Your approach sounds as sensible as theirs was, if your goal is to get the 3 people left in the GOP base even angrier while leaving everyone else to shake their heads and walk away.)

Anonymous said...

The lots for sale by NYRA is the land that the state and the bankruptcy court judge agreed the NYRA could keep outside the land claim resolution. When these lots are sold, if they are, the proceeds are liened by the $16 million IRS claim that was perfected in the bankruptcy. maybe Uncle Sam is tired of waiting to get paid?

Anonymous said...

Same old marxist Steve in NC. I was responding to Alan's attack. Get with it Steve. I see your guy Obama is going to run the auto industry now. He and the other people who have never run a business. Say goodbye to GM and Chrysler. The government has been killing them for years with standards and regulation. Soon there will be no US auto industry. Nobody wants cars with 2 engines and a load of batteries. Who gave Obama the power to fire the CEO of GM? Doesn’t that bother you Steve? What is next? Will they take over the oil industry? How about the racing business? The business is in trouble. Shouldn’t the government run it.
One last thing Steve - youyr party is in charge and has been in charge of congress for the last 2 years. It was your party's love affair with Fannie and Freddie that caused the problem. I hope you like what you are going to get.

steve in nc said...

Thanks, anon. Now I finally get it. Obama's a Marxist. That's why he's given so much of our money to the banks & auto companies.

And everyone loved American cars until the government forced them to start making hybrids through regulations. The Japanese cars sold here don't have to meet fuel efficiency or tailpipe standards. That's why Toyota and Honda outsell Detroit.

GM & Chrysler would have the car market all to themselves if it wasn't for government, especially that earlier damned bailout that that other damned Marxist Jimmy Carter forced upon Lee Iococca back in the 70s.

The carmakers problems have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they have to help pay for health care for their employees and retirees here and it costs them a fortune, while their competition is stuck in societies with governments that force their citizens to accept mostly free Marxist health care so the corporations there don't have to.

The simple label Marxism has clarified so much for me. And I was amazed to learn the power of the Democrats, how in just two years without controlling the White House, they changed all the rules and safeguards the Republicans had worked so hard to put in place, and torpedoed the housing market.

I've also come around to understand your view on tactics. Perhaps it was dirty pool for Alan to point out that Republicans are invoking 9-11 to alert the public to the dangers posed by death penalty opponenents, and to insinuate that Sarah Palin might be unpopular among swing voters. What polling could there possibly be to back that up?! On the other hand, I must have been just paranoid to have termed your wondering aloud whether the President might be doing cocaine, an "attack." Much appreciation for the education.

Anonymous said...

Those surplus lots sound like the perfect location for the newly constituted Obama Motors. One for the sales lot and one for the warranty business.

Remember taxpayers, if this emblem is not on your care, you probably paid too much.

Washington, DC