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Monday, April 14, 2008

Report Suggests Spitzer Was "Blackmailed" Into NYRA Selection

- Check out NY Post columnist Fredric U. Dicker today as he reports exclusively on possible subpoenas for former governors George Pataki and Eliot Spitzer with regard to AG Andrew Cuomo's investigation of the State Police. As you may know, Dicker led the Post's virulent campaign against Spitzer during his brief reign, badgering him extensively - and loudly - on the Troopergate affair. Dicker writes that the "explosive questions" that may be posed during the investigation will relate to whether the State Police knew of Spitzer's affinity for prostitutes, and whether they used it to blackmail the governor in any way; or, on the other hand, if they may have assisted him in his indiscretions.

But Dicker also asserts that one of the questions that will be investigated is this:

Was blackmail behind Spitzer's seemingly inexplicable flip-flop last fall, when he went from adamantly opposing the New York Racing Association's continuing operation of thoroughbred racing in the state to full-fledged support?

Lobbyists associated with NYRA's rivals have claimed in recent days that someone close to the association learned of Spitzer's involvement with prostitutes and used it to pressure him. [NY Post]
My knee jerk reaction to this is to just scoff, especially given the distortions and half (or less) truths that rivals such as Capital Play and Empire aimed at NYRA throughout the franchise process. Spitzer's "flip-flop," as Dicker calls it, is quite easily explainable given NYRA's land claim and its demonstrable record in maintaining the top racing program in the country, combined with the incompetence, arrogance, and lack of relevant experience of its rivals, as well as with Spitzer's own lack of interest in and attention to the subject.

But on the other hand, given what we now know, I suppose it would be foolish to dismiss out of hand any suspicions lobbied at the erstwhile client nine. So, as unlikely as this scenario seems to me, we'll have to wait and see.


Anonymous said...

Conversely, it all makes perfect sense to me. As long as those that have been compromised are removed, and the focus returns to the betterment of NY racing, I'm all for some more investigation.

Anonymous said...

Land claims - how hard was it to go down to the county clerk's office in each county and find out who owned the land - Please; and
In all events, the Capital Fund paid the taxes from day one - thats a BS excuse used by all involved - land ownership - what a joke.

Anonymous said...

Spitzer called the land claim a "Canard" when he was running for Governor. NYRA definitely had something on Spitzer as they got every single thing they wanted from him in the new franchise bill. He played hardball for an industry he cared and knows nothing about, which is not the usual course of events in Albany (but then nothing Spitzer did was "usual.") Why?

It should also be noted that Joe Bruno fired Jeff Lovell this weekend -- he was his lead negotiator on the NYRA deal.

Something stinks about this deal and we should get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.

NYRA talks alot about "integrity" which is a pretty good indication that don't have any.

So who was client #8? Duncker or Getnick?

Alan Mann said...

>>It should also be noted that Joe Bruno fired Jeff Lovell this weekend -- he was his lead negotiator on the NYRA deal.

Speculation is that the teachers' union wanted Lovell out because he loudly opposed tying teachers' tenure to student performance. That initiative was defeated, much to the chagrin of Mayor Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

I do not beliecve the NYRA deal is final so this is one last pathetic attempt at another bite of the apple.

When NYRA drew a line in the sand, Albany blinked. I doubt Albany wants to go down that road again.

Anonymous said...

They wouldn't blink this time -- their big protector - Spitzer isn't around to bail them out again and Silver could care less.

As for Bruno, he's been the subject of one conspiracy already -- Troopergate - and it was likely NYRA/Getnick that gave the feds the Bruno/Abbruzezee(sp), so that makes two.

I would say that NYRA has used their last "get out jail free" card in Albany.

If they are anyway involved in any kind of foul deal involving Spitzer it will come out in Cuomo's investigation and Cuomo will bury them.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see that Alan still doesn't get it with regard to NYRA. They are a slowly dieing organization that is pulling the sport down with it. There was no rational reason for Spitzer's strident support for them. They never even deigned to fill out the "integrity forms" that Spitzer demanded the other applicants fill out and fork over $1,000,000 each for his own political paybacks. The whole thing is so ironic because, initially, all Spitzer wanted to do was to hand over the franchise to his good friend and illegal donor Richard Fields. When that proved impossible because of all the dirt it would dredge up, he switched to NYRA. (From their force, or his, time -- perhaps --will tell). NYRA had no land claim, no competence, no success. Alan's claim that the other competitors trashed them ignores the fact that they were only trying to tell the truth and frustrated by a -- your own words -- psychopatic (and absolutly corrupt) govenor and a compliant and scared press.
In 7 years NYRA could not get VLT's going and bankrupt the premier franchise in the US. How is it possible to defend them. Now, with an obvious taint to their award, our new Govenor should find a new way to change and restart the process.

Anonymous said...

Is that 10:14 post serious? If it is, who are you pitching for?

Anonymous said...

nyra does have a vp with close ties to nys troopers doesn't it Alan? Maybe not so far fetched.

Alan Mann said...

>>nyra does have a vp with close ties to nys troopers doesn't it Alan?

Who would that be?

>>Maybe not so far fetched.

If Cuomo's investigation of the state police is as thorough as he promises it will be, then I suppose we'll find out one way or another, won't we?