Thursday, July 08, 2010

Trying to Make it A horse Race

Crain's is reporting (subsc.) that someone named Bill Samuels is trying to act as a kingmaker in the race to replace Pedro Espada: "The New Roosevelt Initiative, a new political operation founded by Democratic fundraiser Bill Samuels to promote reform in New York, will support Gustavo Rivera and call for other challengers to quit the race against state Sen. Pedro Espada."

Who is Bill Samuels, and why should we take him with any degree of seriousness? Crain's provides a hint: "Samuels says the veteran teacher is smart, articulate, a skilled organizer and the most likely candidate to win labor support. “He's going to be an immediate star,” says Samuels, whose father, Howard Samuels, ran for governor several times. New Roosevelt might spend $250,000 to oust Espada, but it can't collaborate with Rivera's campaign."

Ah, Howard Samuels, better known as the great NY handicapper, "Howie the Horse," for his reign of error at OTB. Back in 1971, Samuels was the first head of OTB and, when appointed, admitted he knew, "little about racing." So now we have the Samuels foal injecting himself into the Espada race-but with the same paucity of knowledge about the politics of the Bronx that his dad had about horse racing.

Just what a challenger needs to be seen as an outsider-the aid of an unknown king maker who, given his dad's pedigree, should now be known forever as, "William the Donkey."