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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crap

Catching up a bit, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says it could take up to a year to complete his audit of NYRA. Of course, if the election results in Massachusetts are any indication, by next January, DiNapoli, up for re-election in November, and his fellow Albany Democrats may have been driven clear out of the country, maybe to Canada or some other godforsaken place with - gasp - universal healthcare; and left affairs to the Republicans, who could very well award the Big A racino to Pfizer.

I dunno, and I don't mean to go off on a tangent or anything, but it just seems to me that when Democrats lose, they're like, oh, yeah, slow down, ooo, it's a wake-up call, we get the message. But when Republicans lose, they're like, oh yeah? Well, fuck you and the votes you rode in on, we're gonna try and obstruct the entire agenda on which you and your clear majorities in the House and Senate were elected, bipartisanship, are you kidding me? And whatsmore, we'll just stand idly by as loonies, morons, and racists succeed in framing the debate with their lies and distortions and slogans for an electorate not the least bit interested in a meaningful discussion of the issues! I've only seen such visceral hatred for a president in cases when he was sending young men off to wars of questionable necessity. This guy was only trying to do something about healthcare. For God's sake.

Oh, am I off the topic? Sorry! The topic is Crap, specifically the horse manure that NYRA is accused of dumping into Jamaica Bay, which, as pointed out by the Times Union's James Odato (who seems to have found a new whipping boy with Bruno out of the picture), is a wildlife refuge and recreation area with sensitive salt marshes and an array of wildlife and birds.

The notice also lists nine violations at Belmont, two at Saratoga Race Course and three at Aqueduct racetrack for compliance issues. Each violation carries a maximum fine of $37,500 per day.
That adds up to a lot of money which NYRA, which has a prior record with waste runoff, can hardly afford.

Worse yet, the accusations come at a time when NYRA is already under attack and can hardly afford anymore bad PR, as unfair as some of the prior criticisms may be. This one stinks, and the association hasn't helped the situation by remaining silent; NYRA declined another request for comment on Wednesday. Instead, I was told that they'll be issuing a "comprehensive statement" regarding all of the accusations. Let's hope that it provides a reasonable explanation, and that it comes soon. This situation is starting to fester.

30 Comments:

Anonymous said...

2 amusing, but sadly physical 'shit', NYRA blogs on recent NYRA/
The Department of Environmental Conservation, violations.

http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&webtag=ab-horseracing&tid=21243

When incompetence & corruption become entitled (until 2033, no less!!) actions like this will occur.

Nothing that NYRA does (or doesn't do) surprises me anymore - they have flaunted their arrogance of the law before.

A few scapegoats were handed their heads & it was back to business as usual.

Leaving aside the ethicality issues for a moment, what alternative universe must I join to be able to demonstrate a failed business model for decades to get rewarded with a 25 year extension if I merely agree to change my window dressing?
I want in. :)

Really. Given the potential - Saratoga, Belmont...and even, dare I say it, Aqueduct (as nothing else, a valuable asset of one kind or another) a well-run private (for profit) business should be able to make alot of hay operating horseracing in NY.

I'm tempted to say the 3 Stooges could do it if they had a good owner's manual.

But no. The equally (or more) incompetent & corrupt state (isn't Joe Bruno currently being fitted for a DOC jumpsuit?) awards the franchise as a not for profit corporation to the same jackanapes who screwed up the works initially.

----------

Know at Woodbine if a trainer or groom dumps manure where it don't belong, there'll be fines and/or suspensions handed down from the stewards.

Apparently at NYRA, the track will do the illegal dumping for you....

CONCERNED (Voting) CITIZENS.

Anonymous said...

Not Talking Shit -

Looking at The Department of Environmental Conservation, (NY) website, we see, it does not momentarily, possess a unit, that differentiates between equine & human matter.

So the latter's, management, may dispute the Department's findings, during the coming senate hearing, which seems now to include, cited, "illegal discharges".

Recent publized, alleged fact, that senate officals, were unaware, of the alleged pollution violations, are also under this radar.

Makes one think, if there was/is, any connection(s), between any of 'todays' NYRA board and senate officials.

Stay tuned to NY Post, Alan…..or Odato etc '

Signed; Congested 'Matter' that concern, NY Racing & NY Queens Community.

Anonymous said...

Yes, NYRA's, 'Getrich, Getrich' legals will have incorporated this between coming intensive Madoff type
(How Culpable Were the internal Auditors?), attendance and on-track handle performance goal, questioning.

Will get messy, as Both the Racing and Wagering Board and the Department of Taxation and Finance maintain fully staffed offices at each NYRA racetrack.

Collective voting ; NY'ers

Anonymous said...

Shoveling the crap aside for a moment, I find it incredulous that an audit could "take up to a year" to complete.

Only government can get away with operating on this timetable, the timeliness of which is very relevant to the audit itself. There simply is not that much information involved here.

Imagine the SEC's reaction if an accounting firm failed to complete its audit of a public company for over one year.

One month, start to finish, should be sufficient, assuming of course cooperation from the NYRA.

The fact that they are going to drag this out for a full year tells you all you need to know about the motive for this "audit".

Anonymous said...

Explain exactly how republicans "obstructed" passage of health care reform when the democrats had a super majority for the entire year?

This is "The Big Lie" fabricated by the democrats to cover up their own inability to capitalize on their political fortune.

We Dems can not come to a consensus, how can we explain it to the voters?

Of course, "blame the evil Republicans", spewed by every lefty website and talking head.

Sad to see an otherwise thoughtful liberal like yourself stoop to such tactics instead of admitting the administration's and congress' incompetance in handling the issue. This was a slam dunk, they missed it, no one to blame but themselves.

I realize it is frustrating, but your anger is misplaced, aim instead at the leadership of your party.

El Angelo said...

I agree with Anon 8:03, but let's be honest, the GOP's entire game is to stymie everything of import on the Dem's agenda simply to make them look bad.

ljk said...

Can't say I'm as fired up as anon 8:03 but I'm curious as to why the discourse isn't "with a super majority, the democrats could not put together a package that even one republican could support, not even Olympia Snow". Maybe now there will be an attempt at consensus building but I fear El Angelo is right.

Are you saying your feelings about GW weren't visceral? Obama is trying to do plenty more than just pass health care.

Anonymous said...

NiNapoli's spokesperson said the audit could take one year depending on the the flow of information and cooperation from NYRA. If NYRA wants the audit over quickly I suspect it will cooperate. It is the right thing to do. Lets hope there is nothing untoward in the findings.

Anonymous said...

I believe that NYRA has lost most of whatever goodwill it had in Albany. The Trustees will need to be seen to take decisive action to demonstrate a change of direction and so we will see major changes in the management, including the dismissal of Dunker and Hayward. Expect to see Hal Handel be appointed the new CEO in Hayward's place which would be a very good move as Hayward has lost the confidence of just about everyone.

Teresa said...

I am in awe of your punmastery here, Alan--bravo!

Anonymous said...

Our sport is bigger than anyone individual. For this reason Hayward has to go.

Anonymous said...

Why is Albany dragging its heals on choosing the VLT operator for Aqueduct? Could it be that the vote by the Racing, Gaming & Wagering Committee in the Senate to approve VLT's at Belmont Park this week has any bearing on this delay? What are the chances of there being a real move to drop Aqueduct, turn it over to the Port Authority, and develop Belmont Park instead?

Anonymous said...

Closing Aqueduct, winterizing Belmont and creating a full casino at Belmont was the original NYRA plan.

I thought this plan was dead but maybe the continued delays at Aqueduct is indicating that this plan has been resurrected and that Aqueduct is dead.

Anonymous said...

Alan, whats with the Keith Olbermann rant? You guys wanted this Obama so badly....and now he's already proven that he's just another Cah-tah! Maybe worse! /s/greenmtnpunter

El Angelo said...

Hey, at least he's not in jail, unlike Joe Bruno

Anonymous said...

Are you sure Joe is in jail? He's on appeal as far as I know. He's going to beat this phony rap. /s/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

Alan, you are right to be frustrated by the bullshit politics of the day. I have always been amazed by the ability of the republicans to toss all types of wedge issues into the minds of people to get them to vote against their own interests. Sadly, they have been so effective that there is no reason to believe they won't continue to succeed. I'd put the odds at 1-5.

El Angelo said...

I believe it is currently on appeal, yes, and if I'm not mistaken he's under house arrest in the meantime. But yes, he's appealing. Lotsa luck with that.

ljk said...

Hey anon 5:53. One of the democrat's biggest faults is this elitist feeling that folks aren't smart enough to know what's "in their interest" and need some Harvard law type to explain it to them. I didn't go to Harvard, but I'm smart enough to understand the liberal agenda and how it's NOT in MY best interest.

anon 2:32. I heard Charlie say on an AM Saratoga show that NYRA had considered moving the winter meet to Belmont. I think a possibility could be to winterize (or even syntheticize) the training track, build a small grandstand & simulcast building (ever been to Colonial Downs?) and sell off Aqueduct. The view from west Florida :)

DiscreetPicks said...

Oh, come on. The Republicans are the only ones try to obstruct the other party's agenda? That's the dumbest thing i've heard in a while. Both parties are guilty of this, and have been for as long as i can remember. That's what's wrong with the government in this country. Everything has to be "us against them", regardless of the merit something has. Any idea that comes from either side of the aisle will be obstructed by the other side as a matter of course. Whether the idea is actually good or not is completely secondary. The whole thing makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

I'm rather sick and tired of Harvard types, most lacking any real social skills or connection to "normal" people. The Dem intellectuals that will make all our pain and suffering go away is nothing but a scam.

As for NY horse racing, Paterson, Silver and Sampson need to look beyond just the simplest, easy fix solution to something far more comprehensive. If they can't, chose a vlt winner at the Big A now and worry about the bigger picture later.

alan said...

>>Sad to see an otherwise thoughtful liberal like yourself stoop to such tactics instead of admitting the administration's and congress' incompetence in handling the issue. This was a slam dunk, they missed it, no one to blame but themselves.


I don't know if it was such a slam dunk. They were boxed in on the Senate side with no room to maneuver (not to mention the resistance of Senators Lieberman and Nelson); and House Democrats are a big tent with a lot of diverse opinions to satisfy. I'm not sure if that qualifies as incompetence. In hindsight though, sure, I suppose we'd be better off than a modest reform which doesn't control costs than no reform which doesn't control costs.

What angers me is that the Democrats bent over backwards to get Republicans on board, and it just seems unbelievable and completely political that some common ground could not be reached. All we heard was packaged responses like "single-payer," and "government takeover" not to mention the death panel garbage. It just seems to me that the Republicans had no agenda whatsoever other than to defeat Obama's, at any cost. They even voted down a military funding measure in order to delay matters!

>>Are you saying your feelings about GW weren't visceral?

I think visceral (not intellectual, unreasoning.....dealing with crude or elemental emotions) was absolutely the wrong word to use. No, my feelings about the Iraq war were not at all visceral; they were rooted in belief that it was an unnecessary war, and I think history will bear that out if it hasn't already done so. But, in my opinion, the root of the hatred for Obama certainly is visceral; and racist in some cases. Please understand that I'm not at all saying that applies to anyone who dislikes him. But I think that those feelings have driven the ferocity of the opposition - the guns at his rallies, the birther nonsense.



>>Alan, whats with the Keith Olbermann rant?

Thanks!

>>You guys wanted this Obama so badly....and now he's already proven that he's just another Cah-tah! Maybe worse!

How's that pray tell, my friend? Please, tell me, I'm really interested to know. Economists on both sides of the political spectrum agree that the bailout helped to pull the economy back from the edge. The biggest mistake this administration has made in my mind was to be unrealistically optimistic about jobs despite the fact that most economists emphasized the lagging nature of unemployment. So what exactly is the problem, especially from your point of view! I mean, he's escalated the war in Afghanistan, made little changes regarding detainees (other than to stop torturing them), shown no leadership on gay rights issues. So, what's your beef?

>>Oh, come on. The Republicans are the only ones try to obstruct the other party's agenda? That's the dumbest thing i've heard in a while. Both parties are guilty of this, and have been for as long as i can remember. That's what's wrong with the government in this country. Everything has to be "us against them", regardless of the merit something has. Any idea that comes from either side of the aisle will be obstructed by the other side as a matter of course. Whether the idea is actually good or not is completely secondary. The whole thing makes me sick.

Fair point indeed. Thanks to all for the civil discourse.

steve in nc said...

Green Mtn Punter -- thanks for the chuckle (hard to do these days) with your "Cah-tah" spelling. But we do differ on the politics. I wish Carter were appointed Secretary of State!

DiscreetPicks, you're just plain wrong about the bipartisanship issue. Democrats were much more amenable to GOP appointments and many of Bush's initiatives.

Many Republicans on the other hand, have reversed positions on aspects of healthcare reform they took just a year or two ago. They did this as part of an obvious national effort to make health care Obama's "Waterloo."

The best example is coverage for doctors to go over care options with patients for the end of life. Right now, only procedures are covered, not discussion and counseling ahead of time.

So many patients never have a chance to think about and decline painful and often futile procedures and doctors are forced to perform these procedures unless there are written "advance directives" from the patient or family not to do them.

Patients of course, can insist on every available treatment to prolong life and many families do. It isn't coercive.

Many Republicans sensibly supported this since it would give individuals a chance to direct their care while they have capacity. It is one of those rare things that help people and save money at the same time.

But once the idea was included in the Democrats' health care plan, this idea was denounced as "death panels" and the Republicans ALREADY ON RECORD as supporting it all reversed themselves. Democrats went so far as to pull it from the program to try (unsuccessfully) to get a GOP vote or two.

Republicans have even resorted to pretending to be champions of Medicare as a tactic to stop health care reform. Remember Reagan? The GOP patron saint? He fought against Medicare, denouncing it as socialism! And now the GOP wants to save Medicare to stop socialized medicine???

No, they just have learned that they can say anything, and if sounds scary, many intelligent people who aren't policy wonks will get fooled. Purposeful lying in the name of patriotism. It is very disheartening.

Anonymous said...

I maintain that a failure of leadership in the Dem party has directly resulted in the failure to pass health care reform.

The President should have taken the bull by the horns on Day One, using the bully pulpit to push his vision through Congress.

Instead, he turned the process over to Pelosi and Reed, resulting in all the back room deals that eventually brought the whole thing down.

He allowed the opposition to gain momentum and Pelosi and Redd gave them plenty of ammunition.

As for your response;

< They were boxed in on the Senate side with no room to maneuver (not to mention the resistance of Senators Lieberman and Nelson); and House Democrats are a big tent with a lot of diverse opinions to satisfy. >

You yourself seem to agree that the problem lies with the DEMs failing to compromise within their own party, not with REP obstructionism. Specifically, the liberal wing of the DEM party waited far too long to compromise, the President should have pushed them to do so way sooner.

Good discussion in any case, and a perfect example of our "representatives" on both sides of the aisle failing to represent while looking out for special interests, which makes it analogous to the VLT debacle which began our discussion.

Anonymous said...

As a passionate Democrat I am very disappointed at Obama's leadership, or should I say lack of leadership. He has wasted his mandate so far. I wish the dems would wake up and realize they still have a 19 seat majority in the Senate and an overwhelming majority in the House. They were elected to make changes and get things done. This is the message I took out of Massachusetts on Tuesday. I hope the President together with the Congressional Leadership heed this message and use their massive majorities and get it done. People reward results.

As for the VLT's at Aqueduct, well what can one say. It is time a decision was made. My favorite is AEG basically simply because I dont want the Hard Rock brand and the Seminole Indians and I have felt it was a toss up between AEG and SL Green for a while now (or so we are led to believe in the press). I strongly believe choosing the Hard Rock would be a major mistake.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the Hard Rock brand, believe it could attract some casual gamblers, just don't want the Seminoles anywhere near NY.

I know my wife would be more inclined to join me in one of my Big A jaunts if she could hang out at the "Hard Rock", I guess she might give AEG one shot if I twisted her arm but it just would not have the appeal.

Anonymous said...

Governor Paterson's connection to Bill Lynch will blow up in his face and create a huge scandal should he pick SL Green. I dont think he will be that foolish when he is holding the high ground on ethics reform.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Alan- Liberals-Progs always overplay their hands by 2 or 3X, as George Will pointed out recently. They just can't help themselves while sticking the broad middle class with the tab. Pay up with a smile- not. /s/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

Jim Odato’s piece: Venting over VLTs

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=892860&category=ODATO&BCCode=&newsdate=1/24/2010#ixzz0ddAy5m6G

One of the bidders seeking the rights to build a racino at Aqueduct, Penn National, sent a letter to Gov. David Paterson complaining that the unknown manner in which bids are being weighed fuels “rampant rumors and gossip.” Chairman Peter Carlino said being from out of state should not be held against the company, and emphasized Penn’s pledge of a $301 million downpayment and its plan to open in 10 months. “We hope you will appreciate our frustration and consternation over how this process continues to unfold,” he wrote.

A spokesman for Paterson said there is no time line for a decision and that all “eligible” bidders are under consideration.

New York generally sticks with New York. Penn National will therefore not win at Aqueduct. It is between SL Green and AEG. In the end one of these teams will be picked.

alan said...

Nice effect with the highlighting...how did you do that??