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Friday, May 29, 2009

No News Is No News

As a reader noted, Paul Post reported in the Thoroughbred Times on Thursday of a "delay" in the selection of Aqueduct racino operator.

"Nothing’s going to happen before the end of the legislative session on June 22," said Gary Pretlow (D-Yonkers), chairman of the Assembly Racing, Wagering, and Gaming Committee.

Pretlow made the prediction based on "history; experience with the way things go around here."
I don't really consider that to be news. Nobody in his right mind could have thought it would be done by June 22. Especially since, as Paterson's spokesperson said a couple of weeks ago, the six or seven bidders will all be fully vetted; and that, besides, the three leaders "have a lot of things taking up their time – this is just one of them.”

Do you think this will get done by the time Saratoga opens? By the time it closes?

Post does the math, which, considering the anticipated build time of over a year, and the feeling that NYRA could run out of cash by late 2010, is rather fuzzy at this point.

Governor Paterson is likely far more consumed with raising his poll numbers. I'd said a few weeks ago that I thought they'd leveled out. I meant to say something more along the lines of 'bottomed out,' but I guess leveled is more appropriate, as in, finding a level and staying there. This guy is really in the tank; check this out - the latest Siena poll has Cuomo beating him by 50 points in a primary matchup! The press is starting to report on a prospective race to replace Cuomo as Attorney General as if his running is a foregone conclusion.

The poll also noted an improvement in the standing of former governor Eliot Spitzer. It was taken however before the release of what Capital Confidential's Casey Seiler properly referred to as his cranky testimony in the investigation of the Committee on Public Integrity which led to the resignation of chairman Herbert Teitelbaum, and spawned Paterson's current effort to replace and revamp the panel.

I wanted to mention Spitzer's tirade last week and never got around to it, so I'm glad to have the excuse to link to it here. The former governor of New York just went off on Inspector General Joseph Fisch, at one point calling him "one more little Pac-Man participating in this fishing expedition." It's a stunning performance in which he repeatedly cuts off Fisch - “My time is precious, Judge. What is your question?” - and dismissively refers to the Paterson Administration as “individuals within the chamber." No cutting and pasting can do Spitzer justice here, so just read for yourself if you're interested (full transcript in PDF here).

Spitzer has come a decent ways toward his rehabilitation, with his regular Slate column, appearances on TV and op ed pages, and even public appearances with his wife. There was even some semi-serious speculation that he could be in line to head the SEC! But this shows that the guy just can't control his anger. I actually don't blame him for being annoyed that he's still dealing with the repercussions of Troopergate. At this point, it's almost two years in the past, one of the key principals was forced to resign in utter disgrace, and the other is under federal indictment. Regardless you'd think he'd learn a lesson about something from his short reign, which was already crumbing under his inability to rein in his temper before his dick did him in. He's a bit of a lunatic I'd have to say. Bruno was certainly right about that.


jk said...

The Shinnecocks, with their legal claim, have the inside track in the VLT Derby.

Some politicians support a Shinnecock casino at Belmont

11:13 PM EDT, May 28, 2009

Key Long Island political leaders expressed support Thursday for the idea of locating a possible Shinnecock casino at Belmont Park.

Should the tribe receive approval to open a gaming facility, Belmont is "the only place it would possibly make sense," said Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi.

A spokesman for State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) added that the Senate minority leader "would be open" to an Indian-run casino there.

Patrick J Patten said...

Paterson was on WFAN this morning, Craig was all over him for enjoying his tenor while he can. Also mentioned the OTB mess, as a "mess" and said he had a guy who would clean it up. In about 25 years.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure anyone will know exactly when the NYRA will run out of cash to operate racing until the 2008 audit is completed and the 2009 budget is approved. It appears from the Franchise Oversight Board web-cast, that the NYRA was hoping to hire the accounting firm that it brought in during the bankruptcy case, but after questions on how the procurement and RFP were handled, the vote was to table the matter until the NYRA provided better evidence of properly satisfying the procurement requirements. Gordon Medenica, Director of the Lottery Commission seemed overly anxious to approve the selection before any discussion between board members, while Sylvia Hamer from Governor Paterson's office and Steven Newman who sits on both the FOB and the NYCOTB board were not satisfied with the NYRA's efforts to hire an auditor.

The 2009 budget approval was not heard because the FOB is still waiting for certain items from the NYRA. These two stories worth following to see what results, as it will effect the timing and amount of any NYRA operating subsidy that might be required from the yet to be chosen VLT operator.

Now Suozzi and the local Belmont politicians have ganged up with the rich folk that are trying to drive the Indian's casino business off the East end of Long Island! So the Shinnecock land claim and cigarette tax issues are settled by flipping them the keys to a muti-billion dollar business in New York City? Why would the state fall prey to this profiteering scheme? If the Shinnecock tribe needs help, let's take care of them on their native lands, as we should.

Anonymous said...

Alan, Back to your previous post about Contessa being on the decline. I don't have access to formulator but it looks like guys like Contessa, Levine and Hushion have all declined in win % over the past 8 months. Especially off the claim. Is that something you can verify? I am asking about those three mainly due to the banning of mud caulks. I believe those three guys benefited greatly from using the caulks. Thanks. JP

Alan Mann said...

JP - I'll check that out tonite and report back.

Anonymous said...

Alan, nice to see you giving Joe Bruno credit where credit is due. Now I pray that he beats the phony rap he is being brought up on- he didn't deserve this, in fact, we can thank Mr Uncontrollable Anger hisself for this phony rap. Spitzer, The Zealot, with his phony charges against Wall St bigs while Bernie Madoff and other frauds operated without a care. Spitzer is a not-so-clever-by-half sociopath and does not belong in any office of public trust. Pity his stand-by-your-man wife and family. /S/greenmtnpunter