- Here's Spitzer's reaction to the Senate Republican's franchise plan:
The State Senate today released its plan for racing, six weeks after the recommendation was made. We have begun our review of their plan and we will be discussing it with the legislature and with the New York Racing Association (NYRA). The plan appears to raise as many questions as it answers, including which entities would actually operate racing and the VLT facility at Aqueduct. I continue to believe that the proposal to give the racing franchise to a newly reconstituted NYRA, while selecting an experienced gaming operator to run the VLT facility at Aqueduct, offers by far the best solution for stability and growth of the racing industry in New York State. [NY Times]Rather diplomatic, I'd say. Sheldon Silver said that the plan had “no details” and “no clear vision” and “no substance.” He also said that the plan is "is an attempt to permanently install appointees of the former governor and Senator Bruno to determine the future of racing in New York." [DRF]
I wrote in the prior post that Bruno was "being a real idiot," and I shouldn't write stuff like that; it's rather unprofessional. But I was in a rush, and looking for a word to sum up how I felt. So now I'll try to be more mature.
I just think that the Senate Majority Leader is not making good decisions these days. And that's besides his being delusional when he said he believes the Democratic-controlled Assembly, Spitzer, and various racing industry stakeholders will all support the Senate plan. [Thoroughbred Times]
For one thing, as I've said before, I think he's making a big mistake in perpetuating the Choppergate inquiries. More relevantly, in this case, I think he may be painting himself into a corner. He's clearly the only one of the three men in a room that will be in favor of his plan, which includes slots at Belmont, a no-no for Silver. And we'll soon find out if I'm wrong, but I can't at all see his constituency in Saratoga backing him on this. The reaction there to NYRA's selection was pretty good as I recall. But Bruno's plan calls for the tracks to be offered for bid separately. That's the kind of radical plan that could have the blood pressure in Saratoga boiling! If that's the case, does Bruno really want to be the lone holdout in Dec 31, and be the one who's - perhaps - jeopardizing the continuance of racing on Jan 1?
Having said all that, Bruno's plan includes the concept of consolidating the OTB's. Under his plan, it would be under the state corporation that will be overseeing the unwieldy-sounding mess he proposes to create. But it's nice to see the concept out there. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime," Bruno said Oct. 16 of the plan to fix a broken model involving racetracks and OTBs. Did he really say that?