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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Odds and Ends, Clowns and Idiots

Looks like the Stockbridge-Munsee casino is the latest failed attempt to open a casino in the Catskills. And though a spokesperson for the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe said that the Interior Department did “an about-face,” the Times Herald Record reported that the idea was dead almost immediately after landing on federal authorities' desks.

[Tribe attorney Don] Miller writes that Interior and Department of Justice officials informed the tribe by conference call on Jan. 12 that "such a settlement is not viable."
The feds were involved in extensive negotiations from April to August when [Professor] Paterson was ready to sign the agreement but cut off communications for two months. By the time Paterson inked the deal on Nov. 22 and held a high-profile signing ceremony in Monticello with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, federal authorities weren't communicating. [Times Herald Record]
In an article entitled "Casino not dead yet, say local officials," on the Mid-Hudson News site, a local town supervisor said: “I’m sure the coffin is closed, but the nail’s not in it yet.” Well, that doesn't sound too hopeful. The folks at Genting, Yonkers, and, especially, Monticello would be happy to hammer those nails in for good.

- Here's a laugh from earlier in the week.
Senate Minority Leader John Sampson tracked me down at the NYSAC conference to offer this jab at Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who seems to be moving a bit more slowly toward ethics reform than other state leaders.

“I’ll give you the quote Mayor Koch would say: he’s an enemy of reform, and I guess he must have signed the pledge with invisible ink,” Sampson said. “If we expect people to follow us, they have to trust us. And they knew the issues of the past, and I think the best thing they we can do and the right foot to get on with the people of the state of New York is to pass the reform that is necessary to get the faith, trust and confidence back in the government of the state of New York.” [Capitol Confidential]
I don't even know what to say. Does this guy have absolutely no shame at all? This guy lecturing anyone - even the squirrely Senate Majority Leader, who stooped to colluding with the absolute lowest and scummiest elements in order to engineer his ridiculous coup last year - on ethics, is like.....oh man, that's easy, where do I start? How's like Chris Lee giving a lecture on judicious use of the internet.

Had to get that in somehow. I mean, don't think for a second when I express astonishment that Sampson can still carry on as conference leader after his role in the AEG fiasco that I think the Senate Republicans are any better. It's a sad, sad institution that accounts for a third of the power in our state capital.

In case you need some refreshment on the Inspector General's report on AEG and Sampson, here's just a little sample.
Evidence obtained by the Inspector General strongly suggests that Senator Sampson importuned AEG to support favored groups and alter its composition to ensure that members of his constituency were financially rewarded upon its selection. The evidence further supports the finding that Sampson “insisted” that AEG, a bidder for a multi-billion award under consideration by him in his official capacity, include a specific developer of his choosing......Sampson’s inability or unwillingness to categorically deny these actions further casts doubt on his reasons for supporting AEG.
The Inspector General further finds that the Senate, under the leadership of Senator Sampson, took efforts to impede the Inspector General’s investigation which were inconsistent with the public’s right to know the manner in which its properties and funds are being dispensed and inimical to transparency in government. Unlike the officials from the executive branch and Assembly who voluntarily cooperated with the Inspector General’s investigation, the Senate quickly reneged on its pledge to cooperate and, after the Inspector General was forced to serve a subpoena, filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court to prevent its activities from becoming public. The Senate and Senator Sampson exacerbated their conduct by even attempting to keep the fact of their lawsuit secret from their constituents by seeking an inappropriate sealing order from the court.
OK, maybe that's more than "just a little sample." But there's so much. I'll whip some out every time I hear this clown open his mouth about how others should behave.

- Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, representing the district where the struggling Monticello Raceway resides, writes to Governor Cuomo about his proposed surcharge on purses. Such appeals from those representing horsemen of modest means at struggling racetracks, particularly from upstate, likely carry a better chance of carrying weight than those from downstate thoroughbred horsemen who stand to benefit from slots at the Big A. That's not to minimize the effect that the surcharge that's not a tax could have at NYRA tracks given the keen competition from surrounding states. But the thoroughbred guys might do well to rally around their less fortunate colleagues.

What an idiot. However, on the other hand, I find the current environment in which everyone and anyone's private affairs are subject, at the slightest slip, to this kind of viral hysteria to be chilling and disturbing. A site like Gawker could just have easily told the woman who sent the photo and emails, thanks, but no thanks, it's really none of anyone's business. And it's not news. Because it's really not. Neither is this. It's just cheap titillation for a society with seemingly nothing better to do but spend mindless hours sitting in front of computers and smartphones texting and twittering about absolutely nothing. They should try going to the track.


Figless said...

"They should try going to the track", Priceless :-)

Anonymous said...

Billybats says:

You post this guy's picture. Who give's a rat's ass about his picture or what he does in his personal life. Didn't you have anything better to do with your blog than post this picture. Geesh, what a waste of horse space.

Anonymous said...

I'm fading St. Trinians on the dirt in the pick 4. Feels like a good spot to do it.