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December 28, 2013

Guns, Manor fueled yearlong feuds

(Continued)

Other potential sites being discussed in the Catskills are the Concord Resort Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, a parcel nearby the Concord, and a site next to Grossinger’s, a storied resort in Liberty. Those sites are all in Sullivan County.

In the two years leading up to the vote, there was a barrage of spending on lobbying by special interests tied to gambling, according to Common Cause New York. The good-government group found that gambling interests spent $14.7 million on lobbying in that period while contributing $2.4 million to political action committees. Meanwhile, Cuomo’s re-election campaign took in some $242,000 from casino-related donors, Common Cause said.

The passage of the ballot question made New York the largest state in the country to welcome casinos on non-Indian land. Cuomo insisted it was in the interests of the state’s citizens.

“This vote will keep hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year in neighboring states right here in New York,” Cuomo said in a statement.

While 2013 was an off-year for aspirants of statewide elected office and congressional candidates, there was still plenty of political activity, some of which brought about degrees of change.

The Otsego County Democratic Committee had hoped for more than that. Going into election season, its leaders said they felt they had a strong shot at capturing majority control of the county’s Board of Representatives. Not only did Republicans stymie those ambitions, they ended up gaining ground in districts where Democrats said they hadn’t expected to lose.

“I know I worked very hard,” Oneonta businessman Craig Gelbsman, a Republican, said after winning the District 12 seat that Rothenberger will vacate on New Year’s Eve.

Gelbsman’s victory was not the only bright spot for the GOP. Rep. John Kosmer, D-Fly Creek, lost his seat to Rick Hulse Jr., a Republican, and Oneonta Town Councilwoman Janet Hurley-Quackenbush, also a Republican. cruised past Democratic newcomer Dan Buttermann.

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