Last of the Manhattan Republicans

Republican elected officials from Manhattan once walked the halls of the Capitol.

The last of this dying breed was John Ravitz, who represented the Upper East Side in the Assembly between 1991 and 2002, when he lost a special election for state senate and walked away from public office.

Ravitz joined Poozer Politics to talk about his upset victory for the Assembly in 1990, the mistakes of his campaign for state senate and his place in today’s Republican Party. The conversation also explored his decision to step away from public office after he found himself on the wrong side of a leadership fight in the minority conference.

Continue reading “Last of the Manhattan Republicans”

Donald Trump, 9/11 and the True Story of Electronic Gambling in New York

Gambling has exploded in New York  during the last two decades, with the floodgates truly opening when the state approved electronic gaming at horse racing tracks.

At the turn of the century your options for placing a bet were extremely limited in New York. Casinos could only be found on Indian reservations, the multi-state lottery was just a dream and online gambling was only as good as your dial-up connection. And despite opposition from anti-gambling advocates, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and Donald Trump, a confluence of events in 2001 led to the legislature’s approval of Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) at race tracks in New York.

Ben Liebman, a former top gambling adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, explains how state legislators flipped on electronic gambling, highlights the major players involved and judges the success (or failure) of the plan to save harness racing in New York. The conversation also considers the legal challenges to VLTs in New York. Continue reading “Donald Trump, 9/11 and the True Story of Electronic Gambling in New York”