What You Should Know

Ruben Diaz

June 13, 2012


By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz

32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York

Tel. 718-991-3161

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, to be specific, two years ago when the Democrats were in control of the New York State Senate and the Black and Hispanic Legislators were getting too much power, things were different.

Once upon a time, I remember how tough the leader of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver was fighting for the purity and cleanliness of New York’s elected officials.

Once upon a time, to be specific, two years ago when Black and Hispanic Legislators were in control, there were some rumors about some kind of negotiations dealing with something called the "Aqueduct Racino Project" where the name of Former Governor David Paterson, Former Congressman Reverend Floyd Flake, Senator Malcolm Smith, and Senator John Sampson were mentioned.

Once upon a time, to be specific, two years ago I remember how the Honorable, the distinguished, the all powerful Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver sent a letter to Inspector General Joseph Fisch requesting an investigation and for his office to review the selection of Aqueduct Entertainment Group to develop the Racino at Aqueduct in Ozone Park, Queens.

Speaker Silver’s letter asked that they “review the process and procedures used by the New York State Division of Lottery and other relevant state agencies involved in the evaluation of bids, determine whether the Division of Lottery and relevant state agencies followed applicable statutory provisions and inquire how the Division of the Lottery will assure that the conditions I conveyed to the governor on Jan. 29 are met.” That same day, the letter was sent to former Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos requesting that Senate Democrat Conference Leader John Sampson hold a public hearing on the selection process.

It is amazing to see how in such a short time the energy, the desire and focused determination of Sheldon Silver to get to the bottom of questionable dealings has seemingly slipped away from his grip.

I have to question why he does not have the same resolve to write a similar letter now while there are no Black and Hispanics in control to inquire and call for a thorough investigation of the donors who have been busy wheeling and dealing with the Committee to Sell – I mean to Save - New York.

There is a saying: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Once upon a time, editorial boards, political columnists, bloggers and all of the media went after the Black and Hispanic legislators mentioned in the Racino scandal.

Two years later, that energy is gone. What happened? Where are you guys? Don’t tell me that you are saving your energy to dig for dirt only if there are Black and Hispanics involved.

My humble advice to Sheldon Silver is as follows: Show some kind of racial equality. Show some kind of fairness. Show the same determination you showed toward Governor David Paterson, Reverend Floyd Flake, Senator John Sampson, Senator Malcolm Smith, and others. Let the whole world know that you are an impartial, fair and dedicated servant who stands for liberty and justice for all.

I am Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.