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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning

"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

More westside stadium...

Democracy in Albany nails this one:
"I'm hearing total commitment is close to $1 billion (of taxpayer dollars)," Bruno said. "I don't know what the hell it is. It's time to get it more in the open."

So we are going to be on the hook for $1 billion. And one of our top politicians has no idea "what the hell it is" that is making up this billion. And yet....George Pataki wanted to force a vote on this issue yesterday. Feeling better about how your tax dollars are spent if the Governor is calling for a vote on $1 billion and no one knows "what the hell it is"?

But your Governor is just looking out for you, according to him.
Exactly correct.

I am less worried about this issue than i once was. I tend to think that Bruno and Silver are going to be able to crush this one. Bruno is clearly angling to defeat it. His latest move is dilatory. Bruno knows that time is on the side of those against the stadium, for at least three reasons:

1) In the very short term (early summer), we're going to find out that NYC is not getting the Olympics. This will inevitably turn public opinion further against the stadium, which was originally being billed as a way to attract and host the Olympics.

2) In the slightly longer short-term, delay is going to give the lawsuits - both in the local community on the west side and among the various business entities in NYC - time to organize and possibly even win court decisions before anything happens. Once the injunction thicket is upon the westside stadium, it will be almost impossible for it to...

3)...make the long-term deadline: the Jets' 25-year contract with the Meadowlands expires after the 2008 season. They will need someplace to play in 2009. If it is not clear that the westside stadium is going to happen by 18 months from now, the Jets are going to have to start looking at alternative arrangements.

Silver's beef has always been that the World Trade Center reconstruction should take priority over any west side development. Of course, his district is in downtown Manhattan, so this makes sense. I doubt Silver will ever agree to a west side funding deal that does not simultaneously pour big bucks into the WTC area.

In any case, what once seemd like almost a done deal now looks closer and closer to DOA. Which is a good thing.

P.S. Can you imagine the corruption in the construction contracts for such a stadium? Paging Jim Coyne and the garbage cartel!
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