Thursday, March 11, 2010

Aqueduct deal dead again

From NY1:

Governor David Paterson announced today that the state has officially withdrawn its support for the deal to install video slot machines at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

The news comes after the Division of Lottery rejected the Aqueduct Entertainment Groups’ request for a gaming license.

The decision also comes after two of the project’s well-known backers, Reverend Floyd Flake and rapper Jay-Z, said they were backing out amid an investigation of why the group was selected.

Paterson says he wants to expedite the process to find a new operator of the proposed racino.


georgetheatheist said...

"De Camptown race-track five miles long. Doo-dah! doo-dah!

De Camptown race-track's deal done gone. Oh, doo-dah day!"

Anonymous said...

Something tells me that entrusting millions of dollars to people named Flake and Jayzee was not a well thought out plan to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Queens Chronicle editorial, Feb. 11, 2010

Back to the gate at Aqueduct

David Paterson was still governor of New York when this was written, but whether he still is now that you’re reading it is a good question. Just when you thought Albany couldn’t possibly get any more ridiculous comes a rumor that Paterson will resign over some shadowy scandal not yet revealed by this newspaper’s early snow-driven deadline.
But whether Paterson is still at the helm or Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch has taken over as a caretaker governor to keep the government functioning (don’t laugh too loud — people will wonder!) until the next inauguration, this much is clear: whatever gubernatorial wrongdoing may or may not surface this week, the long-awaited selection of an Aqueduct Race Track casino operator was a scandal unto itself.
Every day new reports come out about the dubious winning bidder, Aqueduct Entertainment Group: about the political ties between Albany and Queens officials close to AEG, which many now allege may have driven the selection; about how inexperienced the company is compared to much more successful firms, like MGM Mirage and the SL Green-Hard Rock Cafe group, that didn’t win the bid; about a key AEG partner’s poor excuse for a casino in Elko, Nev., where it seems the company can’t even spring for a new window to replace one with a bullet hole in it.
The selection process was a mess since day one. Now, despite the need to move ahead fast, the state should go back to the drawing board and reopen the competition to all bidders that were still in the running until late last year, when it became clear that choosing the best was not the state’s top priority.
For one thing, officials ignored known best practices for public contracts by not coming up with a weighted list of attributes desired in a vendor, having the bids reviewed independently and then making a decision based on the grades each firm earned in each category. Making sure government contracts go to the best companies is all the more important when you’re talking about hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and revenues, both public and private.
And it’s amazing this has to be said, but the state also should follow American constitutional principles in making a choice. It should not be up to Albany’s notorious three men in a room. It should be an executive decision subject to public hearings and approval by the full Legislature. Mucking about with our brilliant system of checks and balances is almost always a bad idea, and the Aqueduct mess is a perfect example of why.
This is a high-stakes game for Queens and all New York. Let’s head back to the gate and start this race over.

Deke DaSilva said...

What a state we live in!

This is the best that our elected officials can come up??

High value manufacturing jobs? Technology industry jobs, designing computer chips? Cutting edge research into solar power cells?

Nah!!!!! Why would NY State get involved in that??

Instead, what do our intellectual superiors such as David Patterson! propose?

Video slot machines!!!! Yes!!! You guessed it!!!!

Not only that, but the finest high IQ genius investors were behind the project - Reverend Floyd Flake!!! and Rapper Jay-Z!!!! YES!!!!!

Our country may be going down the proverbial crapper (thanks to our host QC for that joke!), and we're losing manufacturing jobs by the minute to China - but who the hell cares! We ALMOST had video slot machines!!!!

Anonymous said...

now into "fixing"college basketball games during "march madness"......

stinky said...

Work on the World Trade Center site please, forget this project. It's another give away folks.

Anonymous said...

OK, we know all about Flake and AEG, now let's take the same hard look at who is mixed up in the mix of the other bidders and their armies of lobbyists and the politically connected. Bet they all are just as bad.