Governor Paterson's surprise announcement of a deal with a Wisconsin-based tribe to construct and operate a casino (the real kind, with roulette wheels and table games) in the Catskills region has not gone over well with most anyone at least outside of that region, which has desperately been trying to land a casino or three for years.
Particularly so with a particular company which recently handed over $380 million for the rights to build a plain old slots parlor at Aqueduct a bit over 100 miles to the south. And as reader jk suggests, trouble in paradise?
“This decision, and the process that accompanied it,” Mr. Friedman said, “significantly impairs our ability to deliver tax revenue to the state, and it greatly reduces our ability to move forward with a planned $1.3 billion dollar investment to build a world class resort.” [NY Times]This is the first note of discord or dissatisfaction of any kind we've heard from Genting since they burst onto the scene. But do they really literally mean what they said? I don't know that it really reduces their ability to move forward with investing an amount nearly as much as that to build the new Meadowlands stadium as much as their desire to do so given the potential new competition. And interesting, though hardly surprising, that they would cite the process with equal disdain as the decision.
“We went through a rigorous, comprehensive review and would expect that same level of scrutiny to apply to everyone across the board.” [Albany Times-Union]Of course, we don't really know what kind of scrutiny the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe underwent because we didn't even know the process was going on.
Blair Horner, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, said the deal raised eyebrows, particularly coming on the heels of a scandal over bidding for the Aqueduct racino. “The negotiations were conducted in secret,” he said, adding, “The administration should have bent over backwards to have made this process as open as possible.” [NYT]Albany is surely a place where one does not learn from their mistakes, as we know.
Meanwhile, the governor will try again to have his special session of the legislature, now calling for the chambers to convene on Nov 29. It's possible that the OTB reorganization plan will be considered at that time.
It's also possible, if not highly probable, that the Democratic majority in the Senate will be of the lame duck variety; that with the Republican candidates still leading in two out of the three undeclared election races. Governor-elect Cuomo is calling for the races to be decided, one way or another, by the time the legislature convenes under his purview on January 5. Sounds to me as if the governor-elect has not received the Senate Democrats' talking points, a copy of which I've managed to obtain.
• Our internal analysis shows that Senate Democrats have won the majority.Sounds to me as if the Senate Democrats are not going to let anything as trivial as a new governor persuade them to give up the fight. And that fight includes a bid, in the 60th Senate District in upstate Western NY, to have more than 50,000 votes hand counted in Erie County.
• We started this election in the majority, we remain in the majority, and we will do everything necessary to protect our victories.
• Once every vote has been tallied, Democrats will have retained the majority.
• We’re raising resources and going to spend whatever it takes to ensure every vote is counted.
Such a route, if the courts ultimately agree, could delay for months a final decision in the contest between [Democrat] Sen. Antoine Thompson and [Democrat turned Republican] Mark Grisanti. [Buffalo News]Of course, considering that Erie County amazingly voted for Paladino by a wide (57-39) margin, I can't imagine what the Democrats think they could possibly find there, other than a further delay to what may be the inevitable. Or, as the GOP claims:
“These unnecessary delays are designed to give Democrats more time to retire $2.1 million in campaign debt before they go into the minority."