No verdict yet, but the jury in the Bruno trial showed some interest in what is generally, but not exclusively (it does say Thoroughbred Racing and other opinions, after all), the main topic around here. They requested a readback of testimony by Jared Abbruzzese regarding the worthless horse for which he paid Bruno $80,000. You may recall that Abbruzzese told the court that he purchased the horse, named Christy's Night Out (pedigree not available on Pedigree Query), to fulfill a "moral obligation" to compensate for a consulting gig from which the former Senate Majority Leader was terminated.
Horse breeder Stuart Jamison Morris, who runs Dapple Stud Farm in Lexington, Ky., said he examined the horse and said there was nothing exceptional about it physically that would give it a high value as a race horse.And the jury asked to hear Abbruzzese's testimony about our old friends at Friends of New York Racing, the predecessor entity to Empire Racing.
Morris said it was a small horse, the “bottom of the barrel in the world of thoroughbred” horses and worth less than $5,000. [Troy Record]
It included Abbruzzese being asked about an Aug, 26, 2004 golf outing he had with Bruno, then-future NYRA executives Tim Smith and Steve Duncker. [ed.-In fact, Smith was the future president of Empire and never worked at NYRA; Duncker was already on NYRA's board and became sole chairman the next year. Whatsmore, Duncker was considering Smith for CEO of NYRA until he learned that Smith was scheming for an Empire takeover all along..] At the time, Bruno was being paid $20,000-a-month to work at two Abbruzzese-backed companies.Old time readers recall that we talked a lot about these shenanigans at the time around here; a couple of background posts here and here.
Abbruzzese was also asked about an “off-campus” meeting in his Loudonville living room with Bruno he arranged in May 2005 while Friends of New York Racing was hoping to succeed NYRA overseeing the state’s racetracks. The meeting was highlighted in a memo Tim Smith, then head of Friends of New York Racing, sent to the group’s board members. [Times Union]
- I found the gay marriage debate to be a rare bit of truly compelling, and even at times moving, drama to take place in a chamber where most outcomes are determined in advance. Here many of us have been bashing these guys, and, lately, the Democrats in particular, for being clowns; but now I was watching Senators such as Eric Schneiderman, Kevin Parker (all duded up for the occasion), Diane Savino, even Pedro Espada Jr., and the bill's sponsor Tom Duane (with my sister-in-law right there on TV behind him!) speak with passion and eloquence about Thomas Jefferson, the constitution, the long, uphill fights for civil rights over the years, and equality and justice for all.
On the other hand, only Senator Ruben Diaz Sr, amongst the 38 lawmakers who voted the measure down, had the balls to get up and explain to the voters why. If they did, and if they were being honest, many of them would explain that they had their own political fortunes in mind given the supposed anti-incumbent mood of the voters, and especially, for the Republicans (who, against many expectations, voted unanimously against) after the right-wing revolt against the GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava, who favors same-sex marriage.
Among the eight Democrats who abandoned the ideals of the party was the convicted girlfriend-dragger-down-the-apartment-hallway Hiram Monseratte; and Joseph Addabbo, who defeated Republican Serph Maltese in the district which includes Aqueduct. We no doubt will see Addabbo's smiling face at the press conference announcing which group will seek to attract degenerate slots gamblers to his district. Whenever that turns out to be.