Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Silver & Gold

Welcome, Offwing Opinion visitors! Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate Eric's view on the stadium (it's one shared by Mike Lupica over at my day-job's competition), but am rather conflicted myself. On the philosophical front, as well as the historical record of publically financed stadiums, Eric is absolutely correct. On the specifics of this project, as I noted below, Bloomberg made some major mistakes that might well have doomed the project regardless.

However, state Assembly Speaker Sheldon -- Democrat from Manhattan and a practicing trial-lawyer -- has had such a lengthy record of underhanded "negotiating" over the years, that it is almost impossible for me to give him any props for a "principled" stand. Toss in the fact that the other major legislator involved in dooming the project -- Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno -- had no qualms about being lobbied by his own son to deep-six the stadium (of course, New York has no laws against such conflicts-of-interest). In short, this is much of the same behavior that helped the state richly win over the last year the "title" as the most dysfunctional legislature in the country. (Note that the group that bestowed the award is hardly a conservative, less-bureaucracy type organization.)

Sheldon Silver has helped preside over that. Thus, it is difficult for those of watching these shenanigans over the years to ascribe anything coming from the man as more than just another Shelly scam. He may -- emphasize may -- have done the right thing with this vote, but believe me, principle had nothing to do with it.

No principle. Maybe a lot of interest. And sure as heck a whole lot of political vigourish.

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