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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wasted Trip?

- Tom Durkin came out of his winter hibernation to join the delegation of NYRA employees that traveled to Albany to try and save their jobs. And I'm told that he was in mid-Saratoga form when he bellowed, "AND HERE COMES JOE BRUNO FROM THE INSIDE," when the Senate Majority Leader emerged to tell them not to worry, that they schlepped all the way up the Thruway for no reason at all.

“You’re going to keep right on working,” Bruno told track workers. “It’s pretty well done. I thought we had it done last night. I hope the governor will send up a printed bill. We should be able to pass a bill this afternoon or by the latest tomorrow [Wednesday] morning.” [Thoroughbred Times]
Representative Gary Pretlow met with a contingent of workers, and he took quite an aggressive stand on the matter, reprising the old "the state owns the land" posture which the state abandoned long ago. “They [NYRA] don’t have that power and we have those lock cutters....The state police are very apt at breaking in to places.”

Whoa, Gary, chill! Representative Pretlow is obviously not happy about racing these days, which we can understand given the way his casino bill was trampled by his own committee and by some of the harness tracks, including Yonkers. The tracks reportedly wanted another $30 million in addition to the $60 million or so they would have received under Pretlow's bill; a stance that Pretlow adamantly opposed. By reportedly succeeding in tying the VLT splits to the NYRA settlement, the tracks may have effectively gone over Pretlow's head, which I imagine would make him even more bitter. It will be interesting to see what the harness tracks were able to get, if, of course, the reports of the settlement turn out to be accurate.


Anonymous said...

“We should be able to pass the bill this afternoon or at the latest tomorrow,” Bruno said. “People don’t know when to stop negotiating . . . get a deal, get it in bill form. It’s a 190 page bill.”

Of course the Assembly and Senate broke for the day so there won’t be much time for a vote on Wednesday as the Legislature is staged to get out of town as soon as possible to get a head start on a one-week vacation.

Anonymous said...

“They [NYRA] don’t have that power and we have those lock cutters....The state police are very apt at breaking in to places.”

Right. And who's going to play Mickey Rooney and who will be Judy Garland in their "Let's put on a horse-race meet!" play?

Pretlow's an idiot and a tool. The Board doesn't have a contingency plan in place, and even if they did NYRA would have an injunction stopping them in a heartbeat. Their lock cutters can't slice through a restraining order.

Plus, if I were he, I wouldn't go tossing around the State Police's name so freely. Remember what happened last time an official used them to do something. It's a moot point if reports are true, but until they are, he's still a tool.