Who says New York racing conversations can’t be interesting in freezing mid-December? Who said anything about the racing doldrums? Maybe we should thank NYC-OTB and our dear elected representatives 200 miles to the north for giving us so much fodder for chatter in this holiday season.
The New York Racing Association has been widely pilloried for announcing raises at a time of perhaps perilous finances, given the loss of revenue from NYC OTB. “Bad PR,” say many. “Especially those executive salary raises.”
I know that I’ve a reputation as something of a NYRA apologist, which I don’t think is entirely accurate, but I do think that I am more likely than many to offer them benefit of the doubt. In this case, though…really? Really, people? We’re going to slam a company for giving raises to people who haven’t had them in three years? A couple of weeks before the holidays? In a region that is among the most expensive in the country to live? My goodness, if you’re going to get criticized for giving working people more money, what on earth can you do that would be greeted with praise?
Yeah, I get that the executive salaries above a certain level perhaps should have been exempt, and yes, I understand that publically expressing concern about revenue and then increasing expenses might not look like the smartest thing to do. From a PR standpoint, right, yeah, sure. Not a good idea.
But sometimes, shouldn’t we put aside concerns about how things look in order to do the right thing? In some cases, isn’t that called being principled? Doing what you think is right in the face of criticism?
Not in NYRA’s case, I guess.
Jessica Chapel wrote about this yesterday.
In other NYRA news, our super-interested and pro-active legislators up in Albany had a little meeting this afternoon. I was able to follow in bits and pieces thanks to a variety of Tweeters passing along information, some of which was utterly shocking (or maybe not) in nature, taken out of context though it was.
Now again, I’ve got these comments out of context…but is he kidding? He voted to close down an entire company and put hundreds of people out of work…to make sure that the assembly would hold a meeting to merge the OTBs? He couldn’t entice his fellow assembly members with, oh, the promise of some holiday cupcakes at the meeting? Or a kickback or two?
Was anyone out there watching? Did he say this with a straight face? With some sort of electively imbued sense of nobility? Or did he crack himself up with its absurdity? Do tell, do tell.
I ask again: Really? Could he possibly not know that it’s HIS body, HIS New York State government, in conjunction with the state’s OTBs, that prohibit NYRA from streaming its own races on its own website? Could he possibly not know? Or does he somehow think that NYRA is responsible for both the OTBs and the government, too, and had a hand in drafting the law that prohibits them from marketing their own product?
According to Jessica, in response to a question from me, Hayward’s response on the incredulity meter of 1 – 10 was a 9+.
And those are just two of the topics making the Internet rounds this week. Back tomorrow with an entirely theoretical discussion about the benefits in-state vs. out-of-state ADWs, and the Equine Injury Database findings about synthetic vs. dirt tracks.