Monday, June 06, 2005

Sheldon Silver To Mike Bloomberg: No On Stadium

From the Associated Press:

"ALBANY -- New York City's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics suffered a setback Monday when a powerful state board rejected critical public funding for a $2 billion stadium on Manhattan's West side.

The state Public Authorities Control Board vote came after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver came out against the plan for $300 million in public funding for the stadium that would also be home to the New York Jets.

Silver said the West Side stadium project and its related commercial development would hamper efforts to redevelop lower Manhattan, which he represents, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers.

'Am I to sell out the community I have fought for?' Silver said at a state Capitol news conference. The speaker renewed his call for officials to consider putting the stadium in Queens.

The Democrat's decision was announced less than an hour before the meeting of the Public Authorities Control Board. Silver, Republican Gov. George Pataki and state Senate Republican Majority Leader Joseph Bruno each have a voting representative on the three-member PACB. Its actions must be unanimous."

Wow. Somebody actually told Mayor Moneybags "No." Amazing. Our billionaire mayor isn't used to not getting his way. On New York 1's The Road To City Hall, Assembly Speaker Silver told host Dominic Carter that the mayor had cooked up the the Jets Stadium scheme by himself and had bragged about how he didn't need the approval of the assembly, state senate, or city council to build the stadium. But Silver said that after this vote, the mayor had finally learned he had to go to other people when trying to push through a project of this size in New York City. Silver said was willing to build a stadium in Queens near Shea. But he seemed adamantly opposed to the West Side stadium and was genuinely angry that Bloomberg had spent so much time, energy, and political capital on the West Side project when downtown had yet to be rebuilt after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Yes, the mayor finally learned he had to go to other people instead of just getting his own way. It's a good lesson for Mayor Moneybags. And like the spoiled brat that he is, the mayor had a temper tantrum when reacting to the news that Silver had rejected the West Side stadium, saying opponents of the project were against "jobs." Silver reminded the mayor tonight on New York 1 that there would be plenty of jobs for all the union members supporting the stadium project down at ground zero when they started rebuilding the Freedom Tower.

The mayor is not done trying to get his way on the West Side stadium, of course. The Olympics vote is July 6th, and since the mayor claims the stadium must be approved by that date, he will continue to work behind the scenes to get the project approved. But Assembly Speaker Silver did not sound pliable on these points:

1. Downtown must be rebuilt first
2. There can be no office or retail space built at the West Side site that competes with retail or office space downtown
3. The stadium cannot go on the West Side.
4. The $100 billion dollar price tag was too high

These seem like tough sticking points for Mayor Moneybags to address. So unless Bloomberg has Silver whacked and the Assembly Speaker's body turns up floating in the East River, I can't see Silver approving a West Side stadium deal in the next 30 days.

But I wouldn't put it past the mayor to have Silver murdered. He's that kind of creep. Let's face it, you don't make a $100 billion dollar fortune and become the fourth richest guy in America without killing some people. Not when you always have to have everything go your way, the way Bloomberg does.

But for one night, let's all savor the victory: Sheldon Silver told Michael Bloomberg to go fuck himself tonight. And that's a refreshing change.

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