Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Joe Blow

Sometimes, it seems like a high colonic might shrink Joe Bruno’s body mass to the size of your average circus midget. And lately, the Republican state Senate majority leader has shown he could use a certain degree of colon blow, given his recent dickering and bickering over New York’s soon-to-be extinct thoroughbred racing franchise agreement.

Since Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s announcement to revamp the New York Racing Association’s deal with the state, Bruno has done everything in his power to obfuscate, denigrate or otherwise thwart his decision. Aside from having a lot of political capital invested in the racing franchise agreement, Bruno also had a clear idea in mind for how to govern the Sport of Kings, namely that he’d have a good deal of say in who would run it. Now that it’s becoming clear he won’t, he’s decided to play a game of political chicken.

With less than a month before NYRA’s agreement expires and his district in the throngs of an uproar, Bruno did what all politicians are best had doing: He passed the buck. Instead of reaffirming his electorate of his confidence to hammer out an agreement with the other two men in the room or actually hammering out the aforementioned deal, Bruno pointed his finger directly at state Assembly Minority Leader Sheldon Silver and blamed him for the lack of movement.

“I asked him to show some leadership,” barbed Bruno during a hastily convened news conference. “He says I called him a wimp. And I did.”

Apparently, Bruno expected Silver – a Democrat who is more-or-less his sworn enemy – to cross the partisan isle and do battle with his party’s top ranking official so that the senate majority leader could have his way. Even senility is no excuse for this utter dearth of reasoning. In reality, Silver hasn’t said or done anything to suggest he opposes the governor’s plan. To do as much would likely be political suicide for even a guy with as much clout as Silver carries.

Then in a moment of abject lunacy, Bruno claimed Monday the inaction was collusion between Silver and the governor to make him “look bad” in his district. In other words, he seems to think the racing agreement is a method for the Democrats to smear his good name and reputation at home; he seems to think it’s all about politics.

Goddamn right, it’s all about politics. But not the politics Bruno is claiming publically. The senate majority fixture wants his crew running racing. And he’s not likely to yield any ground until he gets them in spots of power; hence his demand that NYRA’s board resign in its entirety.

Oddly enough, the long shot in this whole race may be pushing ahead to the front of the pack, even though the race supposedly ended two months ago. While other news agencies were sucking in Bruno’s hot air, the Daily Gazette reported Tuesday that the nonprofit Racing Oversight Board would vote to extend NYRA’s agreement. If such efforts failed, Capital Play would agree to run the tracks for the state on an interim basis.

“We have agreed to provide our services and money to run the tracks under the auspices of the Oversight Board in the event that NYRA remains intransigent,” said Karl O’Farrell, Capital Play’s chief executive officer, in an e-mail to the Gazette.

NYRA not accepting a temporary post is a reality that could come crashing down on the state come the New Year, seeing as though Bruno swears he won’t allow any such extension. Not to mention, NYRA officials have claimed they would again file their land claim against the state if the Legislature doesn’t approve Spitzer’s deal. It’s the bargaining chip the agency has used for decades to bring obstinate legislators to the bargaining table. But in previous cases, the bargaining was conducted long before the franchise agreement actually expired.

On a somewhat related side note: What the hell is John Goldberg doing “representing the mayor” at a news conference on the future of racing? The claim was that Valerie Keehn was ill and could not attend; an excuse that is perfectly reasonable for the part-time mayor. But why send Goldberg, a member of the Keehn booster club whose past public duties include appointed spots on the Board of Assessment Review, the City Center Authority’s board and the ill-fated public safety capital construction committee? True he’s a somewhat involved citizen. However, what qualifies him to speak for the mayor of a city?

Here’s an even better question: What happened to the deputy mayor, the individual paid more than $60,000 to run the office’s day-to-day operations, including news conferences? Isn’t she the one who should be speaking on Keehn’s behalf? Perhaps she was too busy moving into her new digs in Ron Kim’s office.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who fucking cares? I am sure Goldberg is as capable as Yepsen. Joe Bruno is a crook as well as McTygue.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Scoop said...

No matter what,anything that Bruno is against scares me. I don't trust him, he is a slime. Over the years I saw him at the track buddy buddy with the biggies, now what is the story, he didn't get his payoff?

I can't wait to see the bastard in handcuffs doing the perp walk.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Who cares? Well, I for one would like to know what Finneran is doing for her roughly $1,200 per week if she can’t even make a brief news conference down the street within walking distance of city hall. I don’t doubt Goldberg’s ability as a speaker as much as do the reasons why he’s spoke.

Oh yeah. And McTygue, McTygue; boggedy, boogedy, boogedy.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Goldberg may have had a General Haig "I'm in charge here" moment, or just represents the least publically vilified surviving inner circle member of the cult family. And really, could you take the small d (for deputy) at a press conference?

Has anyone considered what Spitzer needs from Bruno, that Yepsen may be willing to roll over and trade for? With two distinct press conferences in one week, this could become a delicate political ploy that requires utmost skill to straddle the issues and stay on top. Maintaining the public’s less than sober confidence will require an appearance to make good on the facts on both fronts, while politically dealing from under the table, which shouldn’t be so hard a trick. Hint: two five letter words.

5:35 AM  
Anonymous The Infield Canoe said...

I sure am glad we had our brilliant & illustrious mayor representing us on that state racing committee.

You know, the committee who came up with a recommendation that hasn't been taken seriously since the day it was released?

You know, the mayor that is too f'ing dumb to know what anyone in the room was talking about anyways?

Thanks Val! You accomplished SO MUCH!

As a means of rewarding you with a little something that will place you into the history books, I will make a suggestion at the next coucil meeeting's public comment session that we name the sewage treatment plant after you!

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be smarter to name the actual Sewage after her......

8:18 PM  

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