Re-privatized NYRA has mostly the same directors

Source: Rick Karllin, Times Union, June 8, 2017
The New York Racing Association, which in April was returned to private control after five years of state oversight, has a new board of directors. Under the privatization deal, lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to let the current board’s executive committee name eight of the 17 board members. As expected, they mostly reappointed themselves to the eight seats. There are, however, two new voting members, Richard Violette and Jeff Cannizzo, both with the state horsemen and breeders associations.


New York Racing Association Privatization Plan Approved
Source: Tom Precious, Blood Horse, April 8, 2017
The New York Racing Association, operating under the control of the state government since 2012, will be returned to private hands under a deal that came together April 7 at the New York Capitol.  The measure was quietly and tentatively agreed to days ago, but it was caught up in a larger fight over the state budget that halted passage of it and dozens of other unrelated matters. That fight ended late Friday night. …

Governor Cuomo vetoes NYRA privatization bill
Source: NEWS10, February 2, 2017

The New York Racing Association won’t be going public anytime soon. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have switched public control of NYRA to the private sector. The governor left the bill unsigned past its deadline, triggering an automatic veto. The state took over NYRA in 2012, however, Governor Cuomo has laid out more plans in his 2017 budget to eventually re-privatize the horse racing association.

Cuomo plans to return NYRA to private control
Source: Ned Campbell, The Daily Gazette, January 17, 2017

News of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to return the New York Racing Association to private control came about 30 minutes into Tuesday’s state Senate hearing to consider NYRA’s future — a meeting in which horse-racing stakeholders and state lawmakers advocated for NYRA’s release from state control.  But lawmakers and others who spoke at the Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering hearing didn’t jump out of their seats; instead, they’re  responding with caution. … Caution may have been warranted after last June when, after NYRA was nearly returned to private nonprofit control, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Assembly and Senate leaders extended the state’s oversight for a fifth year. … Supporters of privatizing NYRA, including Marchione and several speakers from Saratoga Springs — home to Saratoga Race Course — said the state’s control is impeding long-term plans and track upgrades. …

NYRA chair says privatization will be job one
Source: Rick Karlin, Times Union, August 10, 2016

The chairman of the New York Racing Association’s reorganization board on Wednesday said the first order of business after Labor Day is to work on the twice-derailed plan to put NYRA back in private nonprofit hands. … Del Giudice is a longtime confidant of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and critics, including track boosters in Saratoga Springs, have faulted the governor for having signaled he would veto a measure that lawmakers passed last session but withdrew at the last minute in June. The temporary nature of the current board brings several disadvantages, including the openness with which the current state-controlled NYRA must operate, CEO Chris Kay said. … Were it a private operation, NYRA could shield some of its plans from other race tracks until they were ready to be put in place. … Del Giudice’s remarks came the day after a former Cuomo official criticized the governor for rejecting the re-privatization plan that was passed by lawmakers but pulled back under the veto threat. …

Andrew Cuomo’s Top Aide Lobbied For Firms With State Business
Source:Matthew Cunningham-Cook, International Business Times, January 16, 2015

Andrew Cuomo pledged to “clean up Albany.” Running for governor of New York in 2010, the Democrat said that ending the state capital’s culture of insider deals and conflicted interests was his number one priority. Yet, in launching his second term, one of Gov. Cuomo’s first actions was to appoint as his top aide Bill Mulrow, a financial executive who has lobbied for firms that have myriad connections to state business. Mulrow has multiple relationships with New York’s finances. He comes to the job from the Blackstone Group, the firm that recently won Cuomo administration approval for a controversial $2 billion power line that unions have slammed as outsourcing energy jobs to Canada. While Mulrow was listed as a Blackstone lobbyist working to influence the $289 billion New York state pension system, Blackstone secured hundreds of millions of dollars in new pension investment commitments for the firm — far more than it had during the four-year period before Cuomo’s first term. And as the New York Racing Association — where Cuomo carries significant influence, appointing nearly half of its board — discusses re-privatization of the state’s race tracks, Mulrow is a close business associate of the only gaming mogul who has publicly expressed interest in bidding on the privatized tracks.