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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Still Waiting....

  Gov. Cuomo will put the New York Racing Association out of its scandal-scarred misery “promptly” after the historic Saratoga Race Track meet that begins this Friday, The Post has learned.
 So wrote the governor's biographer, one Frederik U. Dicker, in the Paper of Wreckage on July 16  “As soon as the season ends, the shift will be promptly made," said the "source with direct knowledge of the planned action" which I guess he/she was wrong about. 
  Current NYRA President/CEO Ellen McClain will be fired as part of the transformation as soon as the meet ends on Sept. 3, the source said.
  Of course, now that I've written this, it will probably happen before the ink is dry....so to speak, y'know.  But still, even so, the meet ended on Sept 3, now we're into Wednesday of the following week and haven't heard even a rumbling.  In fact, Rep. Gary Pretlow, the chairman of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, told bizjournals. com: Oct. 1 is the date everybody’s been talking about with me.”   This is surely not the scenario that Dicker's source was attempting to convey.  Perhaps the governor has gotten board bored with the whole idea. 

Come to think of it, nor have we seen the task force report on the Big A winter breakdowns which was supposed to be released prior to the Travers.  Nor, for that matter, the result of the investigation into the takeout mess, the Final Straw that precipitated this entire turn of events.  Hmm.  Could it be that the task force found nothing insidious about the spate of fatalities?  Or that investigators found that Charlie Hayward made an error in judgment but surely had no intent to illegally deprive horseplayers of a few extra bucks that most of them would have thrown back into the pools anyway? 

The governor meanwhile has been busy defending the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's handling of a secret....or, make that "confidential," at least according to Cuomo....payment to make sexual harassment charges against a powerful legislator go away.
  "Sheldon Silver signs secret deal," Cuomo said in a mocking voice. "Beautiful, poetic, except it wasn't true and it wasn't accurate and it wasn't right. It wasn't a secret deal."
         "The public didn't know about it," Dicker interjected.

"Well, it had a confidentiality [component]," Cuomo said. "It wasn't a secret deal done by the speaker. It wasn't. You put that in your column three times, again. Except that it wasn't."

"What was it?" Dicker asked.  [Capitol New York]

And that's when it got really good.  (Audio of the show is here, with this exchange about 3/4s of the way through.)  The governor proceeded to throw two members of his administration under the bus. 
  "It wasn't a secret deal done by Sheldon Silver, where people would just think it was Sheldon Silver [who] signed a secret deal. It was a secret deal reviewed by the attorney general's office and implemented by the comptroller's office."
Cuomo added that those gentlemen's acquiescence in the matter made it "even worse."   That is particularly funny, because they both have gone out of the way to minimize their own personal involvement.  Now they are additional targets of the new state ethics panel.

The governor has never been a member of the AG Eric Schneiderman's fan club.  But the role of Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a leading voice in this administration's chorus of bluster against NYRA, is of particular interest.   DiNapoli owes his current office entirely to the Speaker himself, who went to the mat for him against another (at that particular point in time) powerful governor.  I wonder if he would have been as aloof as he claims he was in this matter if NYRA had processed a payment to settle a sexual harassment charges against one of its employees.  Can you just imagine if a similar incident had occurred there?

13 Comments:

Teresa said...

You can add to the list the lack of any explanation of the early closing of mutuels at Saratoga last month. Repeated inquiries have yielded that "the investigation is ongoing" from the Racing and Waging Board; I followed up again this morning.

Sal Carcia said...

The NYRA is now controlled by the Governor by his own actions as incomplete as they are. Therefore, the early closing of the betting falls under his leadership.

Sal Carcia said...

Look for the Governor to distance himself from the NYRA as quickly as possible. Selling or leasing the franchise will accomplish this.

Joe said...

If Cuomo hamstrings NYRA by removing the Genting money, he would get less money on the sale or lease of the franchise. Hopefully he realizes that and won't remove the slots stipends.

Sal Carcia said...

Joe, I agree. There has to be some incentives for a new franchise holder, if it does indeed happen.

jk said...

Cuomo/NY State took NYRA's land, took over the board and fired the CEO. There is not much more to do here except take back some or all of the slot money.

Steve Zorn said...

The fatality report was essentially done a month ago. Any delay since then can only be attributable to the Governor's office.

andyscoggin.com said...

You mean there were no weapons of mass destruction found upon investigation. Big surprise!

Anonymous said...

Something you never want to hear...


The state’s new ethics panel voted yesterday to launch a massive investigation into the actions of everyone involved in the Vito Lopez sex scandal — including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/silver_is_cut_down_to_size_iwdmxiUUj6DC5xj1A6aDQN#ixzz26GtHgtqU

Anonymous said...

Something you never want to hear...


The state’s new ethics panel voted yesterday to launch a massive investigation into the actions of everyone involved in the Vito Lopez sex scandal — including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/silver_is_cut_down_to_size_iwdmxiUUj6DC5xj1A6aDQN#ixzz26GtHgtqU

Liz O'Connell said...

A peek at some of the inner workings of the Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety. Fee requests of $250 and $500 per hour for task force members. No transparency, no cohesion, no report. On the Huff Po http://huff.to/Ps6qnp

Dan said...

It was always easy to pick on NYRA. They never fought back. Look how they folded to give Cuomo the power to run the board.

Wallyhorse said...

As many know, Cuomo's desire is to run for President in 2016. I'm suspecting we have failed to hear anything from Cuomo on any reports because he may have very well have been advised by national Democratic leaders to tread very carefully on any issues involving NYRA.

Cuomo may himself not care on how he looks with certain people, but I'm sure the Democratic Party is going to be watching Cuomo very carefully over the next couple of years in case Hillary does not run in 2016. They may very well make it clear to Cuomo not to do ANYTHING that would upset breeders in Florida that would upset the apple cart with NYRA or New York racing (as many Florida breds run in New York during the warm weather months), as Florida is likely going to be a very critical state to any Democratic win in 2016 and NYRA, while seemingly minuscule in the rest of the country is exactly the kind of issue that could decide the White House if we have Florida come as close as it did in 2000. That's why I say Cuomo has to walk a very fine line if he wants to run for President in 2016.

This may as much have to do with Democratic Party leaders worried about how it would look in Florida in the eyes of the breeders there than anything else. They know how a seemingly miniscule issue (to the rest of the country) like this could decide the White House if Cuomo is the Democratic nominee and we have a repeat of 2000.