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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Genting Caught Off Guard

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.

• 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.
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.
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."


Figless said...

I think Stronarch just sent a truck to move his stallions from New York to Pennsylvania.

Albany never ceases to amaze, we must have been as blind as the governor to not see this coming. Why would the lame duck not do something sneaky on the way out the door to enrich himself?

What title do you think will be on his new office door in the Catskills?

El Angelo said...

The local races may not reflect the statewide and national races. I voted against Oppenheimer and it was the only time I've voted Republican in my life. It will probably be the last.

alan said...

>>...and it was the only time I've voted Republican in my life. It will probably be the last.

I have to admit that I voted for Harry Wilson for Comptroller. I held my nose as I voted for my Democratic incumbents for the Assembly and Senate.

El Angelo said...

The mistake the Dems made in Westchester was not having a primary against Oppenheimer, who most residents can't stand because she voted to repeal STAR and hike the MTA tax. Another Dem would have beaten her in a primary and romped against Cohen.

Steve Zorn said...

Of course, those of us who live in Manhattan know that the MTA tax should be increased, not to mention the NYC commuter tax being reinstated, plus East River tolls and congestion charges. But what do we know, we're just the center of the universe?

On the Wisconsin casino in the Catskills, perhaps it will have a prison attached, for the parade of Albany Dems who'll sooner or later be taking up residence.

That still doesn't mean I'd ever vote for a Republican. Used to be easy, when the Communist Party was still on the ballot

Figless said...

The above comments perfectly explain why Albany will never function, everyone just keeps holding their noses and voting for whomever has a capital "D" next to their name.

Its not as if, other than Palladino, the republicans that run agains them are actually conservative, most lean progressive socially and less progressive fiscally.

Why not give these guys and gals a chance and shake up Albany?

But no, we will just keep doing the same thing over and over fully knowing the result.


Figless said...

What is also a shame is that California is SO insolvent they will likely go belly up soon enough to get a Federal bail out. Jerry Brown certainly will not stop the spending, in fact he is probably counting on Pelosi to come to CA's rescue.

With NY's luck Cuomo will do a good enough job to stave off bankruptcy until the Republicans fully take over in 2012 so no federal help will be forthcoming.

The most irresponsible will reap the rewards.

alan said...

>>Why not give these guys and gals a chance and shake up Albany?

Figless - With all due respect, the GOP ran the State Senate for 40 years. The state's current fiscal woes is due in significant part to the structural corruption and special interest influence institutionalized under their watch.

Anonymous said...

>>alan said...
>>I held my nose as I voted for my >>Democratic incumbents for the >>Assembly and Senate.

That just sickens me. How could you vote for ANY incumbent in the state Assembly or Senate? Shame on you!

Figless said...

Alan, no doubt, you are correct, all of the entrenched incumbents are corrupt, I should not have singled out a party.

I should have phrased it why not give some new blood a chance, at least they have not proven they are corrupt.

The point should have been, most folks in this state continue to vote for the same old faces.

In NYC that is the democratic party, outide the city mostly republicans, all of the voters continue to do so election after elections, with no regard to the quality of the actual folks running. They continue to do the same thing over and over again so of course the result remains the same.

The fact that Wilson could not win in this state is amazing, endorsed by all the major papers yet he still lost to a political hack because he has the wrong letter next to his name. At least you crossed party lines, even if you had to hold your nose.

Its a shame really that more folks are not willing to do so when it makes sense.