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mjcatl2

The Fix IS in

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PG today:

Forest City itself has sown the field as well, giving nearly $150,000 to Mr. Rendell, $29,000 to Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O'Connor and $20,000 to Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato.

I know that this has been touched on in previous threads, but the Forest City ties and influence is something that i hadn't really paid attention to. Considering that the lack of opinion of the isl of Capri project or even resistence (Rendell), it's hard not to think, like Murphy, that the fix is in.

People need to speak up and let those three know that, if they choose Forest City, that there will be hell to pay.

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So many redev projects tied to this . . . so little time. Some of our views on this have nothing to do with gaming comission stats, but which side of the city (or which sports team) we want to lionize. This is shaping up to be one heck of a regional drama, makes me question what criteria the gaming commission is really going to use in applying the license, since there is so many high stakes riding on this.

I was very curious as to Mayor Murphy's comments on the fact that the "fix was in" for whatever reason something or somebody convinced him to STHU real quick. That could make a great investigative tome.

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Murhpy was on his way out when he said it. In fact, it's the type of honesty you get from a politician when they aren't running. He knows what the big 3 in PA have in mind and that is scary because you can see how aggressive the Pens plan is and how average the Station Square is. Now, again, for the sake of a location, all things =, I would prefer it at Station Square and I do think the land east of the the main shops/Grand Concourse is prime real estate for condo towers, but they shouldn't need a casino as incentive to do this and if they get it purely because of campaign $$$, then that is really a let down for the state, because Pgh needs a new arena Pens or no Pens, so let's do it right. We're not even hearing them state that an arena should be part of any other bid (as other local officials have suggested). Hell, it seems that the Pens better find another alternative is flat out saying that their massive bid is in vain.

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Could you guys link me to the other articles? I have, however, found this one.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06026/644470.stm

He estimates his casino, once it reaches 5,000 slot machines, would generate more than $400 million a year in total revenue, with $230 million going to the state at a 54 percent tax rate. He also is considering a temporary riverboat casino at the site to begin generating revenue for the state and city quickly.

Isle of Capri estimates annual revenues at roughly $400 million a year and also is considering a temporary casino. Harrah's predicts that the Station Square casino could produce as much as $550 million a year in revenue. No temporary facility is planned.

So according to their own estimates, Harrah's would actually bring in $81 million more tax revenue per year than the other proposals. Does anyone dispute this? If this is the case, then that's all that really matters. The increased revenue alone is enough to bankroll an entire new arena in less than 4 years.

At least in the above article, the north side proposal is claiming to generate more revenue even though it's estimate is less than Harrah's estimate. Meanwhile the Isle of Capri claims as a strength that it is ideally situated near the T, which is a weird thing to claim given that it's nowhere near the T while Harrah's is right next to a station.

But it is the Gaming Board that will have the final say, not Rendell, O'Connor, and Onorato. At least it's not their decision alone, although I'm sure they are well represented or have seats themselves. But all things considered, it seems like Harrah's just has the deepest pockets for the biggest overall investment, and there is a lot to be said about that. As one of the things the gaming board is said to be looking at, they have the wherewithal to build and operate a casino like they're not kidding around.

This article, IMO, is trying somewhat subtly to level the playing field against Harrah's by avoiding to connect the dots on some of the very facts it's reporting about. Most Americans sadly don't posess the analytical skills to analize a biased newspaper article, so that could be a bad thing. Also notice the subtle language used: the other casino offers "estimate" revenues at "roughly" or "more than" $400 million, while Harrah's estimate is made to look inferior by "predicting" rather than estimating and "up to" $550 million rather than "more than" or even "roughly." All these terms are synonyms when you're talking about an estimate with a given margin of error: it could be roughly, up to, or more than depending on how you want to mislead with the statistics. It's clear that the reporter is being sympathetic with his interviewee.

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Like I stated in another thread, this is one interesting local issue to watch unfold as it is chock-full of intense melodrama.

All three plans are unveiled now, and Cheesesteak Eddie claims the public has to speak up about wanting an arena funded with slots revenue, so the local politicos can pressure the awarding commision. From every media poll i've seen (including a win over the Steelers in remarkable fashion), from every response i've studied through newspaper-television-radio...it should be quite evident that it strongly appears that the Pittsburgh region (as a whole) wants a new arena funded primarily through the slots revenues.

Meanwhile, Mayor O'Connor (who, before getting elected, stated Staion Square is the most ideal place for a slots casino to be constructed), Onorato (who is looking mighty sheepish lately in response to the implied chicanery about the said license) and Rendell (whose been using the Steelers as quite the formidable safety shield, for the time-being...) have been trying to force-feed the publc on the idea of having a "Plan B" in place, all while shaking the finger of shame toward a visibly disgusted (but a "nobody's fool") Mario Lemieux. Intersesting reads (maybe even "tells", if you allow) on so many levels...

No offense to "Detriot", but it all comes down to the IOC VS. Harrah's/The Pittsburgh Penguins VS. The Cleveland Contributers. Both plans have immense strengths for their respected areas of town, both plans are the "Top Two" for the city. IMUHO, it'd be in the best interest of the city to let Continental-Nationwide rebuild the Lower Hill whilst it sculps a new North Shore (after the T & Parking garage are in place) and to have a badly-needed, privately-funded new arena in tow to solidify the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

Forest City isn't going anywhere, and a new condo high-rise or two may still be built without a casino locale over there. Within twenty years, we will probably see riverboat 'table-games' gambling in place - mark my words. Let "the fix" be in place for Forest City on that, when it happens...

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A PPG-led trip to the woodshed:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06032/647434.stm

Anyone see Ken Sawyer on last evening's first half of Night Talk on PCNC? Claims to have some prominent area officials on board backing the Penguins/IOC plan (8 or 18, did he say?), except the "big three" (O'C., Onorato and Cheesesteak)...

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