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Friday, October 25, 2013

Cuomo Allies $pring Into Action

Just three days after Fred Dicker wrote of concern amongst Cuomo aides over a "secret poll" showing flagging support for the casino amendment, NY Jobs Now has introduced pro-casino ads downstate, at a reported cost of $1 million.  (Joseph Spector reports that a quarter of that came from Yonkers Raceway.)  How convenient for the governor.  He's denied the notion that he's keeping his distance to avoid being tainted should the amendment fail.  However, despite Dicker's report that he'd be going "all-out in the coming days," we still haven't heard from him in a substantive way.  What a surprise if we don't at all, as long as his minions are doing the dirty work for him.

Reporting in the Buffalo News, Tom Precious offers another possible reason why the governor has been mum on the topic.
One theory is that the less the supporters talk, the less the media will cover the issue – including casinos’ potential warts.
I hope you won't mind if I point out that that's my theory - I've been writing that here for weeks!

There are two different versions of the pro-casino ad.
One ad targeting New York City resident begins by noting both candidates for New York City mayor – Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota – support the bill. The second ad targets Long Island voters and makes the same pro-casino claim on behalf of Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Ed Mangano, who are running against each otJher in the Nassau County executive’s race. [Buffalo News]
 Here's the NYC ad.

made the case in this post that supporting this amendment doesn't suit a progressive like de Blasio, who has made his "tale of two cities" mantra of economic inequality the centerpiece of his campaign.  However, de Blasio is counting on, unrealistically in the view of many, the State Legislature to approve a tax increase on earners of more than $500,000 in order to pay for educational programs, including pre-kindergarden.  Cuomo's support is obviously required (though it certainly wouldn't guarantee passage through the Senate); and he's been vocal about his misgivings about tax increases at this time.  So I would imagine that it would surely behoove de Blasio to not come out against what is a major initiative for the Governor.  (de Blasio has lately been "adjusting" his positions as his coronation draws closer, as reported the other day in two separate articles in the NY Times.) And indeed, Cuomo seemed a bit more receptive to the idea when the two met on Thursday.  (For those of you interested in such matters, there's this report by Azi Paybarah of the two discussing support for primary opponents to Jeff Klein and members of his Independent Democratic Conference that has helped to stymie progressive initiatives in the Senate despite a numerical advantage for Democrats.)

Meanwhile, we continue to see opposition to the referendum in newspapers on both sides of the political spectrum.  The NY Times is out with a new editorial today; while there was a particularly interesting opinion piece in the NY Post by John Sullivan.  The headline concerns Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, wondering why we haven't heard from the man who submitted the original neutral ballot wording before it was turned into the advocacy language.  But Sullivan also points this out about State Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin, the judge who unceremoniously tossed Eric Snyder's lawsuit against the language on technicalities:
The judge who ruled against [Snyder], an acting Supreme Court justice in Albany, will lose his job next year unless he’s re-appointed by Gov. Cuomo — who many suspect is behind the ballot shenanigans.
Now, since we're talking about the NY Post, I did a little fact checking. And indeed, a check of, shows that his term expires next year.  

Man, this thing just continues to stink to high hell!

And here's one more article, this one in the Buffalo News.  It presents both sides of the argument, but I think it presents the opposing view more prominently and convincingly.  Then again, I'm a little biased. But point is that it is showing the opposing view at all, and for free, becuase it's the only kind of media "campaign" that the opposition is able to afford.

 - [UPDATE: Scratched.] In the 9th at Belmont today, Westside Corral (5-1), makes his third start since being claimed by trainer Dominic Galluscio, who has been spotting this six-year old gelded son of Bernstein more realistically than before. He'd been consistently facing horses a cut or two above these, and has back TimeformUS speed figures that would dominate this field.....and as recently as two races back, a win against a competitive beaten claimers field at Saratoga.  In his last, he was shuffled to the rear after breaking from the two post, stayed there until tipping out five wide around the turn, and finished well for 4th.  When the last horse crossed the finish line and the camera view switches to the gallop-out, Westside Corral was well in front of the rest. And that may be the first....and last....time you ever see me write about a gallop-out here.  This race figures to have an honest pace; though the recently faint-hearted Mia Poppy (10-1) is forecast by Pace Projector to once again lead as he did in that last race, I think there's enough other speed, from Iron Power and Breathaway, to ensure that he has to run faster than a 25.48 first quarter to get there.  Make a Decision (6-1) and Powerful Instinct (5-2) are both improving animals from live barns.  Best of luck and have a great day.


jk said...

Farewell to the Big A.

Off to the glue factory
It's time to reclaim Aqueduct
Saturday, October 26, 2013, 4:05 AM

From Gov. Cuomo comes the welcome news that Aqueduct’s days as a shabby and underutilized thoroughbred track are likely numbered.

Figless said...

No surprise here, the second this land was deeded AQU was on life support. Belmont will follow, same arguments apply, largest developable site in Nassau County.

Dan said...

I doubt Belmont will ever close. I remember the same stuff being said about the Big A in the early 90's. If the Big A closed they will have to spend $ at Belmont. Race on the training track in the winter.

Figless said...

I hope Dan is right but when crooked politicians want something, they get it and they want Belmont.

It will likely go in stages, parking lots etc, first, perhaps even be torn down and replaced with a much smaller plant.

Believe there will be a two month break in winter negating need for a winterized track, this will be part of the Big A Closing Plan.

Spa will be extended to 8-12 weeks, Belmont will handle the rest of the year.

Not saying I agree with it but it makes perfect sense to non-horsemen as a business plan.

Figless said...

And then after five years when Belmont's decline even further with the less favorable dates they will have their ammunition to close the joint and build Belmont Mall and Shopping Center or better yet Belmont Affordable Housing project.

Yes, I am an alarmist, but seen too much of this in my lifetime to believe the largest undeveloped tract of land in Nassau County is going to remain undeveloped.

Dan said...

It took Nassau County over 20+ years just to remodel the Nassau Coliseum (starting in 2015). I'm sure we will have racing at Belmont- if we don't then racing in NY will be finished. I don't think this will happen. I'm not sure about AQU but I believe it will be open 5 years from now.