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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cuomo Concerned About Casino Vote (So We're Told)

I'm hanging out at the TimeformUS blog these days, writing a regular feature called Today in Racing.  There, I'm discussing and explaining our features, and also going off on some topics of interest, so I hope you'll check it out please.  Also have our Breeders' Cup Package with advance PPs is available here.

Catching up on the upcoming vote, Fred Dicker reported in the Post on Monday that aides to Governor Cuomo are worried about the fate of the casino amendment after secret polling data showed an "ongoing loss of support" for the measure.  The governor intends to go "all out" in an effort to shore up support.
A key reason that support for casinos is slipping is the recent disturbing revelation that Cuomo aides were involved in altering the language used on the ballot to make it more attractive to voters, a second source close to pro-amendment forces said.
“Cuomo’s attempt to wire up the vote appears to have backfired, with so many negative stories and editorials,’’ the source said. [NY Post]
Ha, well, you gotta love that...if that's really the case.  Regardless, no doubt that Eric Snyder's efforts in his lawsuit is paying dividends despite its quick dismissal by the courts.  Many of the editorials and negative coverage referred to came in the wake of the discovery of the Advocacy Language, and then again when the suit was filed.

If the Governor is going to go on the campaign trail with this, then I say 'bring it on.'  His popularity has waned on both sides of the political spectrum; and recent publicity has all been bad between Snyder's suit and the reports of his attempts to interfere with his own anti-corruption panel when its inquiries threatened to hit too close to home.

The thought has also crossed my mind that Cuomo is full of it here....wouldn't be the first time....and is just trying to make sure that supporters with access to cash don't get complacent.  Dicker reports:
 “NY Jobs Now,’’ a coalition of union, business and gambling interests, including the state’s existing racetrack “racinos,’’ is scrambling to raise funds for a costly last-minute media blitz to encourage a pro-amendment vote, it was learned.  
Indeed, the latest Siena poll actually shows slight improvement in the numbers for support.  And, it again confirms the effect that the Advocacy Language has in swaying voters.  
"It's clear the wording of the casino amendment that voters will see on their ballots is influential in moving voters to support the amendment, particularly Democrats and New York City voters," Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said. [] 
Yeah, leave it to those liberals, all concerned about stuff like education and jobs.  One thing to keep in mind though - and that a helpful reader pointed out -  is that with De Blasio so far ahead of Joe Lhota in the polls, the turnout in NYC could be suppressed.

Well, I say bring on the ads too.  I mean, what the hell at this point.  Don't really think defeating the referendum stands a chance given the ballot language if people walk in without an opinion (or without even knowledge that it exists).  So might as well have it brought to people's attention.   Perhaps that will spark another round of newspaper editorials calling out the deceptive or unfounded claims, and presenting the downsides to expanded gambling; as well as any modest media coverage of opponents' reactions that they can garner with their limited resources.

Such as this article, entitled: It's all nonsense: Forum on casino expansion gets emotional.  ("It's all nonsense" is actually a quote from a casino supporter, though it doesn't come off that way to me.)  With the lede:
 Anti-casino activist David Blankenhorn thinks the gambling industry is engaged in "a sterile predatory activity that only takes money from people without giving them ... anything of value in return."
 Blankenhorn was out-numbered, not only 3-to-1 on the panel, but also by Jeff Gural asking questions from the audience!
 “Why shouldn’t someone in Binghamton, a retired person who wants to spend $30 at a slot machine be able to go to spend $30 in a slot machine?.....Why should you dictate what someone should do with their money?" [Capitol New York]
 Seriously, Jeff?  That's the best you can do....the big soda argument?  Why shouldn't he then be able to go hire a prostitute or score some weed?

 - One thing from last week that you may have already seen.  Teresa Genaro wrote on about Cuomo dissing the tracks that he was so eager to take over by refusing to set foot in any of them; even in Saratoga a half hour drive from the governor's mansion.  Well, Howard Glaser, the governor's senior policy advisor, had the nerve!!!!! - I mean, the unmitigated gall!!! - to leave a comment, saying: "NYRA will receive over $100 million in subsidy from the lottery of the State of New York. Before Governor Cuomo took office the amount of state support: zero."

Teresa was a bit polite in dismissing the comment as being "a bit disingenuous."  It's actually a bit absolutely outrageous that Glaser would think that we're stupid enough not to know that the "subsidy" that NYRA receives was a product of past administrations and has absolutely nothing to do with Cuomo, who would take it all away if it was up to him.  Jeez!


jk said...

The State gets NYRA's land and bled NTC OTB dry.

The horseman get a nice subsidy via the slot driven purse increases.

Nothing left over for the customers. Go to the Big A and see for yourself.

Indulto said...

Thanks, Alan, for providing the balance so difficult to find elsewhere.

kyle said...

Brilliant piece. Laurence Sterne is resting comfortably. In these few paragraphs, you gave us a fun-house of Dr. Slops and how they ride their various hobby-horses into the debate. We have NYC "liberals," whose misplaced and all encompassing sense of compassion makes them ignorant and blind; we have our anti-gaming crusader who reminds us that puritanism is best described as "the fear that someone, somewhere is having fun;" and finally we have Mr. Gural cloaking a businessman's self-interest (which I would respect if stated openly and plainly)in the guise of libertarianism.

Figless said...

Is the Big A simulcast center FINALLY going to open?

August Song said...

Corrupt Cuomo showed his true colors when he did nothing, and said nothing, about his political cronies, that were involved in the Aqueduct Entertainment Group's bid-rigging casino scam, both as the Attorney General, and then as the governor.

Thanks, Alan, for staying on top of the casino referendum story, and the efforts of a corrupt governor and his lackies.

It was laughable when he had to put a halt to the anti-corruption committee he created, because the trail would have led back to him for the tax breaks he granted those Manhattan real estate developers and the campaign money they gave him.

And remember the corrupt Cuomo appointee coming into NYRA insisting emphatically that "everything had to be open and public?" That is proving to be another Corrupt Cuomo induced folly, as in "Do what I say, don't watch what I try to do behind your back, or behind closed doors."

Tom Noonan has also been following the governor and his lackies insincere efforts to be honest and above board:

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