There is no better example of the paralysis that has stopped state government than the ongoing mess at the Aqueduct Race Track. The state had good reason to question whether the Aqueduct Entertainment Group was qualified to operate a video lottery system at the track. And it may still turn out that high-level corruption reaching all the way to the office of the governor was involved in the awarding of this contract.
But that does not change the fact that the opening of a video lottery casino at the track would result in the creation of hundreds of jobs and would bring in hundreds of millions in new revenue for the city and state. The creation of the casino has already dragged on for more than nine years.
How is it possible that it took nearly a decade to award a contract for the VLT only to determine a few months later the company that won the contract was not qualified to create and operate a casino? The handling of this contract may be the nail in Gov. David Paterson’s political coffin, but that will be of little comfort to the people who should already be working at the casino that was never built.
Because of the inexcusable delay, the city and state have already lost hundreds of millions of dollars. We urge the governor to show he may be down but not politically paralyzed. Kick the plans for the casino into high gear now.
Hysteria Rules the Day
We are certain we are not alone in our frustration with the near hysteria surrounding the health-care legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama. We are hopeful it will improve access to health care, but that remains to be seen.
We are also concerned most of the people who voted for or against the health-care package never read its more than 2,700 pages, including most of the members of Congress representing the New York City area. Correct us if we are wrong. We are likewise concerned that the controversy has split the nation along partisan lines.
The bottom line is the sky is not falling. Queens and the rest of America will have the chance now to see if this legislation improves the nation’s health care.