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March 11, 2008

The Spitzer scandal: any fallout for Atlantic Yards?

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder reads the tea leaves and analyzes the alliances on Day 436 after "Day One" (when everything was supposed to change).

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Is there any impact on the Atlantic Yards project from the political damage--likely career-ending--suffered by Gov. Eliot Spitzer yesterday?

Any analysis is speculation, and it's too soon to tell. The scandal might slow down the machinery of government in analyzing and responding to the project, which began under Gov. George Pataki and has generated no criticism from his successor, who pointedly ignored calls from civic groups to delay consideration until the new administration. Then again, it also might mean Spitzer's successor lets the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) proceed as before.

In the longer term, the occupant of the Governor's Office might have the opportunity to affect Phase Two of the project, which might be long delayed.

Our favorite part is this bit of commentary, which reveals that Norman Oder is as addicted to analyzing Atlantic Yards as Spitzer is addicted to... well, you know:

While the "Client 9" allegations have generated a tremendous amount of ink, Spitzer's failure to live up to the "Day One, everything changes" pledge he made to voters is undermined far more by his effort to skirt the standard he set for campaign contributions, instead directing large donations to the state Democratic Party (as the Times reported March 4), and his unwillingness to stop "the Atlantic Yards carve-out" that gave a special tax break to Forest City Ratner.

[Norman may have a point, but seriously, New Yorkers are far more concerned that Spitzer "undermined" himself by paying $4,300 for sex, than by his aids' attempts to smear political rival Joseph Bruno, campaign-finance hypocrisy, and giving special tax breaks to Ratner.]

Click here to read the rest of the article, which includes some background on Lieutenant Governor David Paterson's relationship to Atlantic Yards critics and the curious cameo of a "Stop Atlantic Yards" poster on WCBS.

Posted by lumi at March 11, 2008 5:25 AM