As a reader pointed out, Jim Odato wrote on the Capitol Confidential blog of a fundraiser for Governor Paterson scheduled for Friday which will be hosted by the Albany lobbying/law firm of Featherstonhaugh, Wiley and Clyne.
Featherstonhaugh is an owner of Saratoga Racing and Gaming, the nearby harness track and video slots house once managed by Delaware North. He is a minor partner in Aqueduct Gaming LLC, which is a Delaware North-led partnership bidding for the rights to open a large video lottery terminal center at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens.Of course, most of you know that last bit about Paterson's upcoming selection, but I left it in for effect. I guess it says something that the post drew little response; we just expect this kind of stuff in Albany I guess. But while this guy might just be a minor player, a fundraiser like this has gotta feel like a golden lifeline for this beleaguered governor right about now.
Paterson is expected to make a decision on the winning bidder among six competiting groups by the end of the Saratoga thoroughbred meet on Labor Day.
I feel bad for Paterson, and I was embarrassed for him after reading of his ill-advised remarks on race over the weekend. Now, he's trying to backtrack on the comments (after previously largely standing behind them) after being rebuked by, amongst others, a black former NYC mayor and a black current US president...and that's embarrassing too. I think he's a decent guy who was thrust into an impossible situation, but he's surely not helping himself now.
Maybe though he's just resigned to his fate; I've started to read reports that he's confided to friends that he won't run for re-election. He certainly sounded like someone who doesn't think very highly of his own political future.
Odato also reported that Penn National has hired a lobbyist; this after it increased its upfront offer by 5000%, from a token $5 million to a very serious $250 million.
The move leaves only the Don Peebles/MGM team not following the Albany model of using a lobbying firm in the procurement competition. Peebles is making use of his Peebles Corp. PR department however. He says he probably couldn’t find a lobbyist that isn’t already hired if he wanted one.That's gotta be one of the funniest quotes I've read in almost five years of writing this thing. I think we can safely count this guy out.
“I don’t see a need for a lobbyist,” he said. “This is a deal based on merit and overall community benefit.” [Capitol Confidential]