Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Rules of the Track

The NY Times Empire Zone

"And there off..........." let the bidding process begin..........again..........this time with a much more structured "open" process...........andy

The Spitzer administration has sent letters to the six would-be contenders for New York’s horseracing franchise, outling how the bidding process will work now that the administration has decided to ignore the findings of the Pataki-era Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing, which recommended that Excelsior Racing Associates get the franchise.
Proposals are due on March 31, and the contenders will be asked to make public presentations on April 10 and April 11.
Interestingly enough — given that individuals associated with Excelsior have close ties to Gov. Eliot Spitzer — the bulk of the letter is devoted to new integrity provisions that the administration has added to the process, ostensibly to prevent excessive wheeling and dealing by the highly-connected, highly-lobbied-up consortiums.
The letters, dated March 13 and issued by Richard Rifkin, the governor’s special counsel, stipulate that the public presentations in April “will be your only opportunity to make substantive presentations to the Governor’s office, unless the office initiates informational meetings prior to the hearing.”
Bidders are precluded from initiating any contact with the administration, and will also be subject to an extensive “integrity review” conducted by the state Inspector General. “Failure to fully cooperate will result in disqualification,” the letter warns.

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