Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Spitzer calls for a "Do Over"

Albany TimesUnion.Com JAMES M. ODATO,

Did anyone seriously think that Spitzer would allow this flawed and suspect process of selecting a NYRA replacement to stick??? As a kid..we used to call something like this a "Do Over" ............and rightfully so..........andy

Spitzer plans new racing bid format
Governor wins support of Bruno, Silver for revamped review process of offers to run state franchise

ALBANY -- Gov. Eliot Spitzer plans to announce a new public review process to consider bids for the state horse racing franchise.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, R-Brunswick, supported the additional analysis. Bruno said it may make sense to have all bids worked into one ideal proposal.
The remarks follow last week's report by the nine-member Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing, which included three members each appointed by Bruno, Silver and Gov. George Pataki.
The committee recommended Excelsior Racing Associates as the preferred bidder. That group includes New York Yankees executive Steve Swindal, casino developer Richard Fields and former racing and wagering board chairman Jerry Bilinski.
"There will be a process that will be open, that will permit full public review of what has occurred, and we will get quickly to the right decision," said Spitzer. "It will be a process that will let the right questions be asked. It is a major industry that should be jump-started in this state.'
Bruno said the report will be subject to public hearings, but Spitzer said a hearing may be too formal a process. "There will be a public opportunity for everybody to be asked questions and to participate," the governor said.
Bruno said he is open to all the bidders -- a total of four, including current franchise holder New York Racing Association.
"I believe you can mix and match the best of what people have to offer to see if we can improve on whatever's there," he said. "Having the best racing in the world is really what's important."
Silver said Spitzer is expected to talk to all the bidders.
"He's going to have to live with the next franchisee," he said. "I support him making the determination."
Saratoga Springs Mayor Valerie Keehn, a member of the ad hoc committee, said the Legislature and Spitzer should take Excelsior's bid seriously.
"I'm hoping and expecting . . . not starting the whole process over again, to build on our foundation," she said

Hi Andy - The process may have had a chance if they had anyone on the panel who knew anything about running a race track. Running a city, an Assembly subcommittee or owning a famous gelding just doesn't cut it.
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