Danny Hakim reports in the Times this morning that Governor Paterson met with the Rev. Floyd Flake on Monday morning and sounded him out about his political support.
Despite the statement by the governor’s spokeswoman that an endorsement had not come up, Mr. Flake said that he and the governor agreed that because of the Aqueduct deal, “it would probably be more difficult to make the endorsement.” And, he added, “we did discuss how that might look to other people.”As you may know, Flake is an investor in Aqueduct Entertainment Group.
How might that look? Let's see. According to Hakim, the meeting was the first between the two in the two years since Paterson became governor. It came on the very first business morning after the governor made the Big A announcement under the relative press shroud of a late Friday afternoon; which, in turn, came a week after Flake told the Times that Andrew Cuomo would "be a great governor.” And that was a sudden turnaround for Paterson after months of delay during which, according to many press reports, he held out steadfastly for SL Green.
Whatsmore, Hakim reports:
In fact, the Aqueduct Entertainment Group received poor ratings in a ranking of the bidders compiled by the state’s Lottery Division, according to several people with knowledge of the process. The Lottery Division refused to release the document or make its director, Gordon Medenica, available for comment.That beside the fact that AEG was offering $100 million less that the top bidder.
So, how does it look?
Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group, said the meeting between Mr. Paterson and Mr. Flake “raises a red flag.”
“What’s amazing to me as an observer of what goes on is the blatancy of it,” she said.