There hasn't been any real news about Aqueduct since the news a week ago about Steve Wynn making peace with the hotel union; and the last we heard, Governor Paterson was still undecided. I guess an extra week hasn't helped him make up his mind. Not that it matters anyway, with the Senate Democratic leadership in China until next week.
Don't know if this qualifies as news, but, as reader jk pointed out, Fred Dicker wrote in the Post on Monday that Paterson has reversed himself on an earlier assertion that an unnamed partner in Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which has now widely been dismissed from serious contention, had issues which would make them ineligible for licensing by the all-powerful Lottery Division.
"AEG has ties to [Rev. Floyd] Flake, to Malcolm [Smith], to [Congressman] Gregory Meeks, to the governor, so what other reason would there be for Lottery to say they're not qualified and then to say that they are?"Strong words there, but consider the source. Dicker has his agenda, and though he's certainly broken his share of stories, we're still waiting to find out how Spitzer was blackmailed into selecting NYRA. So I'll wait and see about this. AEG were my morning line favorite though, and this would certainly be a case of coming back from the presumed dead.
Another source said, "It appears that the governor made promises to Flake's group that he's trying to deliver on now." [NY Post]
- Justice William Erlbaum heard closing arguments on Tuesday, and will issue his verdict on Thursday in the assault trail of State Senator Hiram Monserrate. Defense attorney Joseph Tacopino hammered away at what even the judge acknowledged was “the linchpin” of the case - the statements by medical personnel that Karla Giraldo originally told them that she was attacked.
One witness, Dr. Dawne Kort, testified that Ms. Giraldo re-enacted the attack for her with an imaginary glass, quoting Mr. Monserrate saying angrily: “You want the water? You want the water? Here’s your water!”Tacopino also suggested that Ms. Giraldo was pressured by the medical personnel to say it was domestic violence. Monserrate could get seven years and lose his seat if convicted of one of the two felony charges...or be convicted of a misdemeanor and conceivably avoid jail time altogether. Elizabeth Benjamin lays out the political consequences of a conviction, an acquittal and everything in between, as power in the State Senate hangs in the balance. But I'm telling you, as ridiculous as his story is, I'll be shocked if this guy doesn't walk out of the courtroom scot-free on Thursday. Without the cooperation from the victim, I don't see where the prosecution has proven anything beyond a reasonable doubt. (This, of course, from someone observing only through the press.)
Mr. Tacopina questioned why the doctors and nurse did not immediately write down some statements they said Ms. Giraldo made, taking up to three weeks to record them in notes. “That alone is reasonable doubt,” he said. [NY Times]
- For those of you so inclined, Irene Jay Liu of the Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog breaks down the various factions dividing the NY Senate Democrats, as opposed to the big happy, homogeneous family of obstructionist Republicans. Her explanation in this video starts at 14:30. Certainly not the only legislative body that is currently aligned in similar fashion.