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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

AEG Probe Is Special

James Odato reported in the Times Union on Monday that Inspector General Joseph Fisch has recused himself from the investigation into the selection of AEG because he's a Paterson appointee. The probe will be handled by Special Deputy Inspector General Philip Foglia. What makes him Special I'm not sure, but I suppose we'll find out.

Records required cover every e-mail, letter or report associated with the matter, according to a subpoena.....The award set off a controversy fueled by some of the finalists in the bidding war -- so fierce that a private entity furnished a thick investigatory report to the Lottery Division late last summer critical of people once associated with AEG, according to two people, one who saw the document said.
Catching up a bit, a couple of interesting quotes in an article by Paul Post in the Saratogian from Friday. Charlie Hayward said that NYRA is seeking $30 million from the state, to be repaid from slots revenue. “We’re in discussions with the state....They understand their obligations.” And NYRA's general counsel Patrick Kehoe added: “We’re close."
Hayward said NYRA could generate considerable extra money if certain legislative and regulatory changes were made, but chided state officials for failing to act.
He's talking about uncoupling trainer entries, and allowing live streaming of races on its betting platform. NYRA is not permitted to do by law because the OTB's aren't; isn't that Special? And, of the report issued earlier this year by the Task Force on the Future of Off-Track Betting which called for consolidation of certain operations of NYRA and OTB (stopping short though of recommending a NYRA takeover), Hayward said: “I think that report’s going to sit on a shelf and never be acted on." There's a big surprise.


Anonymous said...

Let's hope they are right about the transfusion but remember the story originated in the Saratoga media, NY racing's biggest cheerleader. Charlie Hayward's comment sounds like they are pressing the commitment the state made- "obligation"- to fund NYRA shortfall until the Aqueduct VLT revenue begins. As you said Alan, a NYRA-OTB merger would just make too much sense for the pols to do.

steve in nc said...

Forgive me for being off topic, but every other time I post, some anonymous right winger attacks me and the idea of health care reform. So I'll preempt this time, with this tidbit from Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, covering Sarah Palin's visit:

The vocal opponent of health-care reform in the U.S. steered largely clear of the topic except to reveal a tidbit about her life growing up not far from Whitehorse.

“We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada,” she said. “And I think now, isn't that ironic?”

(End of newspaper quote)

Love that use of "ironic." Palin is now rich, and like the rest of the GOP leadership that is opposing health care reform, can all afford the finest health care. Or, they're covered by the finest free socialized medicine around - the Congressional health plan. I've yet to hear about a GOP member refusing to use their "public option."

While enjoying the benefits of good government health care, they whip up hysteria about death panels to try to scare everyone else.

Anons out there, are you also weathly enough to afford the annual 30% rises in insurance costs I've been getting? Or do you live near the Canadian border like Sneaky Sarah?

Anonymous said...

Steve, I can't afford a cadillac plan either, thats why I have a very nice high deductable plan associated with a Health Savings Account.

Works great for my family, you should try it. But beware, it would be outlawed in most of the versions of health care I have seen, so I will be forced to purchase a plan I can not afford or break the law.

Lovely, and unconstitional to boot.

Anonymous said...

Thought Charlie Hayward was fired?

What happened to all those commenters that he would be gone by the end of the week, what, three months ago?

El Angelo said...

HSA's work for a small group of people out there. For most of us, they're not practical. On a larger scale, they're a disaster for the health insurance industry at large, because they'll simply take healthier people out of the risk pool and make it more expensive to get insurance.

steve in nc said...

Anon - thank you for a reasonable comment! I hope that if you get a bad diagnosis, the plan really does come through for you. I've heard some stories about low cost plans that collect the premiums but are gone when you need the coverage. Do the research to make sure your company has a good record.

Mine is nowhere near the cadillac level and has a $1000 deductible on the big stuff. And even with two whopping premium increases in a row, I'm glad to have it. Given some preexiting conditions now, if I ever lose it, I'll never get new coverage under the current system.

Like you, I don't love the idea of forced insurance, especially without a government option, and with the better subsidies from the House version unlikely to be adopted. If only we could have a reasonable debate about the best way to work things.

What gets me about the Palins, Becks and the anonymous redbaiters is that they make reasonable debate impossible by equating ANY new government service with tyrrany. May they all find themselves in a utopia with unlicensed quacks and without clean water or traffic lights since who is the goddam government to interfere in health care, and then turn around and tell them how to drive or where to dump their sewage?

You know who. said...

Anybody betting Zardana?

alan said...

Floyd Flake out of AEG.

Anonymous said...

Steve in NC: Your 30% increases will become 45% when you consider all of the new and hidden taxes you will pay under ObamaKare. Name one government program that has ever delivered anything less expensively than the private sector. Unless, of course, it is subsidized. And then you are paying for the subsidy, too, are you not? Markets work if you don't over-regulate them! /S/greenmtnpunter

El Angelo said...

Ah yes, unregulated markets work very well. Just look at derivatives, banking, and problems in any of those fields recently.

Anonymous said...

so the people who can't afford healthcare should get nothing because of some stupid market theory? that's real compassionate. makes you wonder why a single person who makes less than $50,000 would vote for a party that routinely craps on them.

steve in nc said...

We are already paying for care for the uninsured. Hospitals can't legally turn emergency patients away, so to compensate, they jack up rates on all services for people who can pay. And taxes are already covering some of that cost too. And we're paying an unnecessarily high cost because people who have no access to primary care let things get worse until they have to go to the ER where everything costs more.

The free market can't work for health care because if you're really sick, can you afford to dicker over the price?

To have a really free market that would make things more affordable, you'd have to do away with the artificial limits on the supply of people/places with the skills - the tyranny imposed by government in the form of degree and licensing requirements on nurses, doctors and hospitals, and oversight of drug safety claims. We didn't always have those things. Wanna go back to the days of snake oil medicine shows?

jk said...

I just heard Al D'Amato on NY1 say when asked about the Big A slots: "The real untold scandal is how NYRA's financial problems forced NYC OTB into bankruptcy."

The OTB parasite will not go down easily.

Anonymous said...

NYRA's problems caused OTB to go bankrupt??????

Wow, that might be the most ridiculous statement every uttered.

Anonymous said...

HSA's would work for more people if states would make them available, but as you state the insurance companies dont want them so the states wont allow.

My company is top rated, and it has worked perfectly for me so far.

It is only low cost due to the 5500deductable, which certainly makes you think first and ask questions before just accepting your doctors referral for a test. Eliminates a lot of unecessary costs simply by forcing people to shop like they would for anything else.

It really would work for anyone if made available to the general public, but insurance companies try their best not to sell them. Everyone should look into it.

Anonymous said...

More important than Flake dropping out, it appears AEG is serious;

Jeffrey Levine, chief executive of Levine Builders and partner in AEG, says they filed required applications and are progressing on an agreement so they can pay a $300 million upfront fee by March 31.

Anonymous said...

How come Capital OTB is allowed to stream races, but the outfit that puts on the damn product, NYRA, can't? It's assinine!

New Jersey's news of huge purses is going to severely impact the Spa. In fact, it's probably a hundred times worse than whatever happened as a result of the mess earlier this decade -- when Getnick and Getnick were overseeing things.

Let's face it, racing fans, NYRA is in trouble, and more so, the whole sport of horse racing is! NASCAR has been on a downside for the past couple of years, horse racing has been on the freefall since the 1970s. Forget the Breeders' Cup, that is another mess all to itself.

HOrse racing has way too much infighting and the political corruption is about as bad as the malfeasance of the so-called SuperTrainers.

There are hardly any corners in which corruption, cheating, and downright lawlessness exists in the sport of horse racing.

Anonymous said...

Jay Z and Floyd Flake, two more rats deserting a sinking ship. Any guesses as to when the cocaine sniffing, free-basing Patterson steps down and goes into rehab? This was truly a case of the blind leading the blind.

Doris from Rego Park said...

The Saratoga media is 'NY racing's biggest cheerleader?' That's funny... About as ignorant a comment as you'll see. The Saratogian and the T-U are pathetic rags that go out of their way regularly to deride and demean NYRA.

Anonymous said...

Doris from Rego Park- I agree, T-U is a horrible rag but The Saratogian, especially it's columnists, and spurred on by the local C of C and other business groups, has been pro NYRA for years including supporting NYRA in the recent franchise award. Are we reading the same paper? /S/greenmtnpunter

El Angelo said...

I'm more impressed that Doris is posting on this blog, considering she's been dead for 6 years.

Ruben Bailey said...

I can't believe someone would besmirch the late, great Doris from Rego Park - How dare you!!

Anonymous said...

Au contraire, El Angelo, the very reason the deriviatives and banking markets boiled over is largely due to over-regulation. And the knowledge that Uncle Sucker would bail them out as he always does. Just can't stand to let the market adjust without the heavy hand of government. Let them feel the pain, the markets will survive once the excesses are wrung out. Government intervention all too often becomes the cover for more regulations, and government takeover and control. It never works.

The oil and gas speculators have it made since they know that America will never increase the supply due to regulation-happy, environmental extremist Democrats. They say : "Thanks for controlling the supply and creating shortages for us, it's as easy as shooting fish in a barrel with the regulators running interference for us." America, once the land of free market capitalism, now held hostage by irrational fears cultivated by the "green" lobby.

As for American health care, it is the best there is. Now, how is it a good idea to screw up the system that works for most to address the 15% that truly cannot afford it. For the 15% we make it possible to purchase affordable health insurance. Families can purchase the coverages they need and not pay for coverages they don't need. And, yes, we subsidize for the 15% when necessary, that is our moral obligation to care for those who cannot afford to care for themselves. /S/ greenmtnpunter

El Angelo said...

There is so much wrong with that last post, I don't have the time, energy or desire to even dignify it with a response.