Shorter Esmonde

27 Jul

Seriously, though – what “price” are casino foes paying for “telling the truth”? That people disagree with them? That their funding is being scrutinized?

The litany of negatives that go along with a casino development in Buffalo are often weighed against the positives, and the ultimate balance is somewhat subjective. Even Esmonde acknowledges some positives from a casino project. But what’s often repeated by opponents is how the money will be taken out of the community. Really?

Aren’t the Senecas part of the “community”? Don’t they spend their money in the same places as you or I? Aren’t they Western New Yorkers just as much as Stan from Lancaster or Johnny from Niagara Falls? Haven’t the Senecas been just as economically downtrodden as any other minority?

The Senecas and their defenders don’t promote the casino as being the savior of Buffalo, so opponents’ arguments to the contrary are beside the point.

There are myriad businesses in existence in this community that are probably a net drain on society and the economy. This may just be another added to the list. So?

One of my biggest problems with the whole Seneca casino deal is that there was no public input. I’d much prefer that the state constitution is amended to permit legal, tightly regulated, taxed class III gaming in New York State. At the end of the day, however, we elected the politicians who cut this deal with the Senecas. No one elected its opponents.

29 Responses to “Shorter Esmonde”

  1. Brian July 27, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    The Seneca’s make a lot of money with their casinos now. Where is thhat money gojng? We keep hearing about all the poverty in the Seneca community (approx. 7,000), so why all the poverty? Where in the world is all this cash going?

  2. Brian July 27, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    The Seneca’s make a lot of money with their casinos now. Where is thhat money going? We keep hearing about all the poverty in the Seneca community (approx. 7,000), so why all the poverty? Where in the world is all this cash going?

  3. laughingoutloud July 27, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    what you should be asking Brian is where is the 1.5 million a year in Wendt foundation overhead going. Who’s pockets are getting lined?. By the Way, every Seneca, based on their maternal lineage gets approx $8000/yr from casino profits.

  4. wnywatercooler July 27, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    The Seneca’s corporate headquarters will also be in the tower they plan to build, thats a lot better than mobile alabama or chatannoga t.n.

  5. Mike In WNY July 27, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    The ultimate balance is only subjective if you ignore the facts and decide on emotion. And then, you ask if the exclave (Senecas) is part of the community? The whole casino drama is starting to resemble a morality play with a tragic ending.

  6. mike hudson July 27, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    the buffalo news has shilled shamelessly on behalf of the buffalo-niagara partnership (their advertisers)for as long as i’ve been here. in addition to the seneca casinos, they have opposed any improvement to the niagara falls international airport — which, unlike the buffalo airport, is capable of accomodating international flights to places other than canada — have been brutal toward new york billionaire howard milstein and his niagara falls redevelopment, and attempted to put the kibosh on various other plans and projects that are brought to the table by “outsiders” which do not directly benefit bnp members.

    intrestingly, as far as i can tell, wnymedia has no fiduciary interest in the casino whatsoever.

    which means alan and chris are a lot cleaner in this than we now know jackson and the wendt foundation are.

    the issue here is not what the senecas do with their money, how they came to be able to operate casinos or even whether the casino is a good thing or a bad thing for buffalo. at issue are the personal ethics of the previously sqeaky clean and allegedly idealistic bruce jackson, who failed to disclose that members of his family were making money off the anti-casino crusade, and those of the wendt foundation, which is likely increasingly sorry it ever got involved in this in the first place.

  7. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone July 27, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    Aren’t the Senecas part of the “community”? Don’t they spend their money in the same places as you or I?

    Um, “Not legally, anyway,” and “I don’t know, do they?” I bet I know where they ALL buy their gasoline… and I hear a lot more “eh?” at Teh Galleria than “Níonöëjake:h.”

    The casino is a bad deal for Buffalo, and no muckraking re. The Wendt Foundation changes that. But should the muckracking–or faux-muckraking, depending–happen? Absolutely. The sNews won’t do it.

  8. Brian July 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    This swiftboating of the Wendt Foundation is what’s shameless.
    They have done more good for this community than any casino will ever do.

    GREAT! Let’s rip to shreads a foundation that actually tries to help local organizations—in favor of defending a predatory gambling establishment—one whose stock and trade has been shown historically as being of little if any value economically to any urban setting they have been put in the middle of.

    You get the feeling that those who support the Buffalo casino haven’t done one bit of research to see how it has impacted other urban areas.

  9. shamless July 27, 2008 at 6:13 pm #

    What’s shameless is how the current trustees of the wendt foundation have lined their pockets with assets that should be going to the poor. Paying themselves $1300 per hour, or $144,000 a year for apparently, by their own admission, doing nothing.

  10. Starbuck July 27, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    That’s a good pic of Donn. I wonder if he went blond just for the summer.

  11. Senecalady July 28, 2008 at 6:43 am #

    Nobody asks where you spend your money, but since you are asking, I personally like to dine out so I take my family of 6 to all sort of restaraunts in Erie County, prob. 2 times a week. Next, we all wear clothes, not buckskin so we like to shop at the mall, walmart, wherever. I also eat food bought in the grocery store. I haven’t been any good at nut and berry gathering. I usually go to Tops or Walmart for food. I also love to shop at the roadside stands for fresh fruit and veggies. And when I need to take my child to the doctors, they see the pediatrician, no more medicine man. When we need some entertainment, we like to see the Bison’s play baseball, go catch the latest movies, heck, we even go to the zoo and the museum some years!
    I hope this can conclude that all Seneca’s are like everyone else. We don’t live in teepees or wigwams either.
    Some of the casino’s money go to improvements on the territory. These improvements go to improving, medical (new doctors, dentists, counselling, diabetes prevention, etc.), to sports, to housing, to playgrounds for children, to charity, and ofcoarse for our elders.
    Where does NYS money go to, neighbor?

  12. Ben Fleming July 28, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    “the issue here is not what the senecas do with their money, how they came to be able to operate casinos or even whether the casino is a good thing or a bad thing for buffalo.”

    100 percent incorrect. Thanks for playing, Mike.

  13. steve July 28, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    Even shorter Esmonde…”Listen to me. I’m smarter than you.”

    And, since you brought it up, hudson, the snews and others might lay off billionaire Milsten and his NFR if they actually developed something. How long has it been? Ten years? And what have they built…a footer foundation? Even Job would be frustrated by now. Yes, yes, I know about the land they’ve bought up and the buildings they’ve torn down and the taxes they pay, but what…exactly…have they developed? If anyone should take a lesson from the Senecas on how to get things done, it is NFR.

  14. mike hudson July 28, 2008 at 8:31 am #

    howard milstein has invested more private money in the city of niagara falls than anyone in the last 30 years. all told, it is getting on to $40 million, and there is plenty of documentation on that. milstein has not taken a penny from the state, federal or local governments and pays his property taxes, more than $1 million a year, in a timely fashion.

    the buffalo news has called him and his partners scam artists since the late eddy cogan first came to town a decade ago.

    carl paladino has invested nothing in the city of niagara falls. he got his property for $1 (one dollar) around eight years ago, has used considerable state funding to sort of fix parts of it up and is charging his only tenant — the same state agency that funnelled him the money — three times the going rate for office space in the falls. and the last time i checked, he hasn’t paid any property taxes.

    yet according to the news, his is a niagra falls success story.

    doesn’t that seem odd to you, steve?

  15. $40 Million on WHAT? July 28, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    howard milstein speant $40 million in NF? On what?

  16. steve July 28, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    Thanks, mike. No disagreement from me on Paladino. And, lots of things the Buff News does seem odd to me. But, I’ll repeat my question…what, exactly, has Milstein/NFR developed with all that money? Or, asked another way, how has NF benefitted from the deal they granted NFR a decade ago? He pays his taxes? Good. But that hardly strikes me as development.

  17. Senecalady July 28, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    I know this isn’t about what Seneca’s spend their money on, but a couple blogs up above where wondering where all the money was going to.
    The Casino isn’t built for the people of Buffalo. It is built to help the Seneca Nation and their people.
    I don’t understand why we are getting a bad rap for wanting more. Of coarse, doesn’t everybody? People gamble, most know when to quit, their are some who can’t control it. They will gamble anyways.
    Yeah, I know everyone doesn’t want to hear cries of racism, but what is it about the Seneca’s that we are doing so wrong? The anti- casino people basically sound as if the Seneca’s don’t deserve to have anything but what they have now. How is 1000 more new jobs going to do harm to buffalo? It is going to take away from the businesses nearby? What businesses? We didn’t want to build in Buffalo to start. Buffalo needs to make up their minds? WTF?

  18. mike hudson July 28, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    $10 million in property taxes.

    acquisition costs on enough property to warrant a $1 million annual tax bill. do the math yourself.

    8 years worth of legal fees associated with fighting off stupid attempts by the boneheaded anello and elia administrations to undo the deal james galie made because they didn’t make it.

    maintaining 5,000 sq. ft. of office space for a decade to house as many as three full-time attorneys, a legal secretary, a regular secretary, an executive and the visiting project manager from new york. salaries for said personnel.

    a couple of million in charitable contributions to community missions, the firefighter’s toy fund, catholic charities, the letter carrriers food drive and the aspca, to name a few.

    please, on a project that has resulted in them being the single largest property owners in the city amounts to $4 million a year, which in howard milstein’s world is not an incredible amount of money.

    but in buffalo-niagara, where a fraud like issa can blow into town, wave around $1 million or less and have everyone treat him like the king of sweden, it’s a pretty serious investment indeed.

  19. shamless July 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    “My problem is the absolute refusal of anyone pro-casino to discuss the likely cons along with the pros (1000 jobs, etc.)”

    and My problem is the absolute refusal of anyone anti-casino to discuss the likely pros along with the cons.

  20. spike July 28, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    Is there any wonder Hudson sticks up for NFR? Niagara Falls Reporter is owned by them get it.

  21. hank July 28, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    Senecalady’s comments certainly welcome here. Always good to hear a voice from the Nation, and not the tribal leaders.

    My only contact in WNY with the Senecas was when they were helping the Boy Scouts with local Indian lore and tribal dress, and they were very helpful to us. I don’t bear any member of the Seneca Nation any ill will. They’ve never done anything bad to me.

    The Deal as it is right now does very little to help the area in which the Casino would sit. If the Nation wanted to deal fairly and squarely with the City and/or County, negotiate a better split of the profits, etc I think the resistance would wane. The deal the city ended up with is like the peanut shells on the floor. Not worth a shit.

    Someone wanted to know if Joel Rose got paid somehow for leading the casino fight. I don’t know, But I think in our one meeting and the correspondence we’ve had that he would take any money. It’s not his motiviation for doing what he’s doing. He sincerely believes that his fellow man would be affected very detrimentally if this casino is built. And that seems to be his motivation. He’s not looking for a better deal for the city or county, he don’t want the fucker built AT ALL.

    You lefties should lay off the guy. He’s a Liberal Academic–you should be shining his shoes and kissing his ass–he’s all about everything you believe in, and you’re breaking his balls. Even wierder, why am I NOT breaking his balls and YOU guys are?

  22. hank July 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    Sorry Pundit, I meant to write that Joel WOULD NOT take money for what he’s doing. And if you check his site, you will find testimony from many of the Senecas that they think THEY’RE getting fucked on the deal.

  23. WNYMind July 28, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Esmonde and Bruce Jackson both base their argument on the absurd assertion that Wendt should be beyond question since the Wendt trustees are such saints. As we know, absolute power currupts absolutely. The Wendt trustees have an arrangement where they can do whatever they want without answering to anyone. The assumption that it is wrong to question their actions is pathetic.

    Esmonde and Bruce Jackson should put their money where their mouths are. They should sign all of their worldly possession over to the Wendt trustees and become their slaves. One word of advice to Esmonde and Jackson though. Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid. Oh know, it is too late to take that advice for those two. The cult of Wendt has already taken over their minds.

    Unfortunately, Hailey’s Comet will not be back until 2061, so the Wendt Cult will be with us for some time. The best thing we can hope for is that they will move in with the Manson family.

  24. shamless July 28, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    @rocco “Let’s use NF as our local example. What pros have emerged up there” Well, lets start with the obvious, 3500 new jobs and a 100 million payroll, a four star hotel, and a 21 milllion payment to the city of Niagara Fallls. Spinoff development includes a new Crown Plza (accross the street), and the renovation of several Hstoric apt buldings nearby into Luxury rentals. According to Smith travel NF NY experienced the biggest increase in Hotel occupancy in the nation last year. And lets just not forget the world class entertainment , which otherwise might not be available in WNY. And here’s one I know the anti-casino folks will hate, the drop in crime in the area, which NF officials, not me, attribute to the increase in street activity associated with the casino.

  25. Brian July 28, 2008 at 7:23 pm #

    WHY IS IT that we should all be so pleased that the Senecas get to be the arbitor of all that WNY entertainment money?

    Right now, the WNY entertainment dollar filters through many different businesses. The Senecas hope to divert that LOCAL MONEY to their casino. Even if we only lose as many jobs in the area as are created (many say it’ll be worse than that), I still don’t understand why all these pro-casino people think it’s A-okay for the Senecas to have such economic power?

    Even if they do spend some/all that money in this area, why are they given such power and control over this revenue? It’s insane.

  26. Go Pundit July 28, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    “At the end of the day, however, we elected the politicians who cut this deal with the Senecas. No one elected its opponents.”

    Thank you! Who are these citizens who dare question government decisions?? Once they are elected, their actions must not be contested. Do you think our country’s founders wanted the legality of govt actions checked by the courts? You haven’t been paying attention the past 8 years…

  27. iakona July 28, 2008 at 9:38 pm #

    SELF CONTAINED UNIT! Think about it.

    http://www.wnymedia.net/news/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1543&Itemid=249

  28. Senecalady July 29, 2008 at 8:36 am #

    I can’t say much as to wether you should think the casino is good or bad for the people of Buffalo. You have your beliefs and I have mine. I do understand your thinking as to why it is bad from something Hank said above. Maybe the citizens of Buffalo should take a referendum vote? That would be the only way to decided fairly if the people want one. Just like we do. We all take a vote and decide what it is the people of the Seneca Nation want. (The US government once duplicated our government system, maybe they should continue.) We can all live in harmony if that’s what the people want.
    Don’t bother patronizing the casino if you feel it is something you don’t want. I like to stay away from bars because I don’t like the drinking.
    I can give some good reasons the casino should be built, but I already know your answers to them.
    One more thing I can say is that the United States Government believes we are truly an indiginous group of people so much as to give us our own exclusive tribal rights that your/mine four fathers felt we were entitled to because of our history. We simply want to honor those treaties made years ago. Don’t you honor what the constitution says?

  29. Timothy Saracki July 29, 2008 at 9:58 pm #

    Wondering what happened to the civility of the anti-casino crowd…guess it so much water over the Kinzua dam.

    Don’t mind Bruce Jaxson so much (even know his kids, luv his taste in film noir), even tried talking to him a couple years ago on some radio pogrom before being rudely interrupted by one of the hosts saying “U Heff thirty seconds”.

    I know the anti “gaming” crowd and worse I can smell a mile away creeping anti-Senacism, bordering on racism…even from the cultural elite.

    As a Seneca who voted “yes” on the casino referendum back in May of 02 and has worked his tail of at the NF casino from the beginning to try and hunt for a home in Buffalo for his family I resent all the nay sayers saying “NO, YOU CAN’T DO THIS”.

    Long Island columists, California Attorneys and Artvoice fly-by-nighters will not stop us.

    That is our territory.

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