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Monday, October 13, 2008

Paterson-Skelos Rift Heating Up

- Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' opposition to Governor Paterson's selection of Delaware North is not due to his anger over the governor's involvement in the Senate races, nor an attempt to put slots at Belmont back in play; but rather, he's simply listening to the Queens community, where leaders prefer a destination venue with hotels and a major brand, not just a video slots parlor in a box. That is, at least, according to "people close to Skelos," as reported today on the Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog.

However, Fred Dicker reports in the NY Post that Skelos is privately describing Gov. Paterson as a double-crossing liar, claiming that Paterson personally assured him that he would not involve himself in the election. And the growing animosity between the two was on display at the public budget meeting on October 3.

Of course, Paterson's folks aren't taking that accusation lying down.

But aides to Paterson claim it was Skelos (R-Nassau) who went back on his promise to work with Paterson - especially on the state's worsening fiscal situation - and, as a result, they say the governor now wants to see the Democrats take control of the Senate for the first time since 1965.
...Paterson has told friends that he finds Skelos - unlike the recently retired Bruno - almost impossible to deal with.

"I think David initially thought he could work better with Dean than with [Minority Leader Malcolm Smith], but that's no longer the case," said a source close to Paterson. [NY Post]
There's supposed to be some kind of unwritten "understanding" that the sitting governor does not intercede in the legislative elections. Spitzer unrepentantly cast that notion to the wind. Paterson had been more coy about his intentions, especially when his buddy Bruno was still around. But he's clearly taken off the gloves now. The governor has been raising money for Democratic Senate candidates, transferring money to those in pivotal swing races, and endorsing specific candidates. As mentioned previously, he endorsed Joseph Addabbo Jr., the NYC Councilman running against GOP incumbent Serph Maltese in the district that includes Aqueduct (Maltese has expressed reservations about the Delaware North bid).

And on Friday, Paterson, for the first time in one of the contested Senate races against a sitting GOP Senator, personally attended a fundraiser; this for Rick Dollinger, who he has described as a personal friend. Coming on the same day as the Delaware North announcement, this certainly could not have pleased Skelos.
Paterson said he would personally swear Dollinger back in to the Senate and said, “It would be the most exciting experience if he came back and that this election brought the Senate Democrats in the majority.” [Politics on the Hudson]
Late last month, Dollinger was rated 11 points behind Republican incumbent - and one-time Democrat - Joe Robach in the Siena College poll.

- Delaware North President William J. Bissett says that, contrary to what has been reported, its Big A bid includes more than just slots in a box.
The other developments would be undertaken once the casino succeeds.

“We’ve always viewed this project as one of staged development,” he said.
..Bissett said nothing guarantees that competitors actually will build the hotel, retail and entertainment space. And he questioned the estimates of revenue that the state would receive over 30 years.

“We’ve gone in a very conservative fashion so the state can rely on the numbers we project,” he said. [Buffalo News]


Anonymous said...

Still waiting for those capital improvements and increased purses at Finger Lakes, imagine how long it will be before "the casino suceeds".

Del No. is the worst choice long term, so its a mortal lock to garner the no-nothing politico's support.

Anonymous said...

Has Paterson actually hugged this baby yet? You know, the DelNorth minimalistic approach to the largest potential VLT gaming development in the state? Mmaybe Paterson is still closely watching reaction and criticism? Seems Silver is out there humping, no pun intended, for his lobbyist pal and close friend Patrica Lynch's clients. Lots of drama yet to come.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Paterson is aware of how unpopular this decision is, as he has yet to be heard, and with any politico if this was a popular decision he would have his name plastered all over it. I suspect he is hiding under his desk letting others take the heat on this idiotic decision. As it is clearly contrary to everything he has said publicly as well as his newly appointed racing savour Sabini.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the DelNorth piece in the Daily News. That rendering is never what they intended to build when discusssing their bid submission. What a scam! Don Peebles, a great urban developer, he does hotel/condominium conversions in Miami, FL for crying out loud. How could he get into this deal at the last moment when evry other particpant had to be fully vetted? Same stink, different day in New York......