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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dems in Demand

- Former NY Governor Hugh Carey, a Democrat, has joined the board of Empire Racing, and the NY Times' Empire Zone blog notes that the organization continues to roll up Spitzer-friendly allies in its bid to take over New York’s thoroughbred racing franchise.

Lately, Empire has brought aboard some Democratic stalwarts, including Stephen L. Green, the real estate developer who is a big Spitzer donor and the brother of Mark Green, the former attorney general candidate, as well as Denise E. O’Donnell, a former prosecutor and attorney general candidate from the Buffalo area who is on Mr. Spitzer’s transition team.
(Hat tip to Albany Law School Racing and Wagering Page.)


Anonymous said...

The Dem patronage machine is chomping at the bit.

Empire in walkover.

There is no way The Gov can sign off on NYRA, it is politcal suicide.

Was hoping Excelsior could provide some competition, if for no other reason than to keep Empire at least somewhat honest, but the lack of news from Mr. S's team speaks volumes.

Alan Mann said...

I don't see how any politician with any intention of ever running for office again could possibly sign off on NYRA, I think you're absolutely correct.

Green Mtn Punter said...

Empire looks like a sure thing at this point, so it would seem. It would appear that NYRA's trump cards will need to include:(1) A clear recommendation from the Ad Hoc Committee; and (2)Prevailing in the real estate title issue, an issue which could be resolved in NYRA's favor as a result of the bankruptcy. Probably a longshot at best. Empire proves that NY racing is still all politics, all the time by becoming the perfectly balanced "ticket" in the race. What will be interesting is to see who ends up in the Empire driver's seat; call me cynical but I forsee Empire as inherently flawed by all of the promises they must have made to their numerous financial partners, including VLT operators and out-of-state race track and breeder competitors, has been pols and lobbyists, and not much left over for the NY horsemen and breeders, the original rationale for Empire's formation. I am still convinced that the long-term best interests of the NY racing industry will be served by a non-profit such as NYRA in partnership with a VLT operator; with that structure we can hope that the emphasis will remain on racing and not the fast bucks from VLT's. How long will it take the for profit Empire to become driven by the highly profitable VLT's? I am more than ever interested to see the Ad Hoc Committee recommendation; perhaps the AHC will persuade me to stop worrying about Empire because I have yet to receive any reassurance from Empire or it's allies. And I don't hear much enthusiasm for Empire's bid from any source not in the Empire fold- or have I missed that?
To me, should Empire prevail, the disappointment is that, in the end, it was just another political solution imposed on NY racing.

Anonymous said...

Excellent points GMP. I have actually seen more support for NYRA than Empire in the industry rags.

I just hope that somehow they preserve the land solely for use as a racetrack. I am having Roosevelt Raceway flashbacks.