Links of the Day:
– The statewide Republican convention is in Rochester today. The main focus will be on picking a challenger to Kirsten Gillibrand.
A Democratic activist expressed frustration his party has not held a convention in Rochester in decades. The reason? None of the hotels here are unionized, although the convention center itself is union. NYSUT once pulled out of holding a convention here because of the Crown Plaza union fight.
I understand the desire to support union workers, but does boycotting downtown Rochester also hurt non-union workers and the local economy at large? Has the boycott accomplished anything?
– The Senecas are gearing up for a fight over the state’s possible casino expansion. The tribe has an exclusivity agreement for the area west of Route 14. That includes the Finger Lakes and Batavia Downs tracks and the Rochester region:
The tribe’s president, Robert Odawi Porter, said in a statement that the tribe expects “the state will do the right thing and honor the 2002 compact. As a matter of existing state law, we have 13 years remaining on the guarantee of our zone of gaming exclusivity.”
Mayor Tom Richards said on WHAM 1180 he does not want a casino in downtown Rochester. “It would change the character” of downtown, he said. What does he want downtown in terms of nightlife and entertainment? Richards has been lukewarm at best to a performing arts center. His strategy seems to be adding housing and offices to build a critical mass that will attract services.
Meanwhile, Tom Wilmot, who once proposed a casino at Midtown, is likely hoping he gets a license for his proposed racetrack in Cicero, N.Y. if the expansion goes through.
– Governor Andrew Cuomo, who pledged to be transparent, defended the dead-of-the-night deals on major legislation, including pension reform, casinos and redistricting. The Buffalo News editorial board takes him to task:
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had repeatedly pledged to veto any redistricting plan that was based on the electoral needs of politicians. He made the promise during his 2010 campaign and then repeated it over and over and over again. There was no chance he would back down.
Until this week, when he agreed to a transparently political plan that is a gift to Senate Republicans, a betrayal of his repeated promises and a waste of a golden moment. That is to say, he caved. Lawmakers passed the bill and Cuomo signed it on Thursday.
It was power politics, pure and simple, and Cuomo went along with it.