Friday, June 8, 2012

Cuomo's Gamble

The governor of the State of New York is gambling with its future-and trying to use the promotion of a casino/convention center daily double to advance New York's economic interests. This has lead to some serious flailing about as his destination shopping sites fall by the wayside-the latest being the Aqueduct site in Queens.

The failure of that location has led to the search for another site-with Manhattan as the governor's most desirable spot, something that Speaker Silver doesn't have much enthusiasm for: "Now that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has abandoned his dream of building the nation’s largest convention center at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, he is handling multiple offers from the gambling industry to develop a combination casino and convention center at other sites around New York City."

Our own property continues to be mentioned: "The proposals involve an array of locations in the city — from Coney Island to Willets Point to Randalls Island, as well as nearby locales like Yonkers and Belmont Park." But Cuomo wants Manhattan badly:

"But Mr. Cuomo would now prefer to see the development in Manhattan, perhaps at the Far West Side site of the much-maligned Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the bidding process was continuing. The ability to operate a casino in the New York metropolitan area would be extremely valuable, experts say. The density of residents, workers and tourists in New York, and the relatively high income levels, are especially prized by gambling companies."

What makes this all rather unseemly-aside from keeping our property held hostage to the dreams and schemes of elected officials-is that the gambling interests are pumping money into the Committee to Save NY, a group allied with the governor and promoting his own political interests. Can you say quid pro quo? (

Now we have a particular reason for viewing the governor with suspicion, after all, his Office of the Attorney General waste binned the investigation of the illegal lobbying activities of the original Throw Momma From the Train-the inimitable Claire Shulman. So instead of being righteous like his father Mario and defend the small landowners. son Andrew sabotaged their interests for political gain. (

Someone should take a long hard look at his inactions as AG on this-and while they are at it, take a peak at the intertwining of gambling interests with those of the Cuomo political machine.