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McMahon’s Anti-NASCAR Cave-in: Councilman’s Total Lack of Balls the Cause; Public STILL Hasn’t Had a Word in Edgewise, and the Fingerboard Follies are Fucking Idiots

(Random Surfer Warning: This is way long, and totally local)

Anyone paying attention knew that [tag]Staten Island[/tag] (North Shore) City Councilman–my guy in that hellhole–[tag]Mike McMahon[/tag] was never gonna back [tag]International Speedway Corp.[/tag] (ISC) in their plan for a [tag]NASCAR[/tag] track on Staten Island, no matter how viable a plan they may ever present. He’s term limited in his current post and, in my eyes, has his eyes on Borough Hall. As the only elected Dem on The Rock with Islandwide name recognition, he’s the odds-on favorite to get the party’s nod to run for Borough President next time out; he isn’t about to screw that up by backing the 80,000 seat racetrack, whose proposed construction has created a shitstorm, with the first public hearing turning into a near riot.

There was, however, the notion that McMahon was willing to at least hear ISC out before formally announcing his opposition. That notion came straight from McMahon. Following the fiasco in Sunnyside, mid-Island Councilman [tag]James Oddo[/tag], who previously had said he was “skeptical” of the NASCAR plan, announced his opposition to the track, joining already announced ant-NASCAR South Shore Councilman [tag]Andrew Lanza[/tag]. (In the Oddoverse, “skeptical” meant “I need an excuse,” and he proceeded to supply himself with one by joining his fellow “Farrell/Fordham” frat member Lanza in blowing the hearing up by baiting the pro-track contingent into flipping their collective wigs, then blamed it all on ISC and swore death upon the plan.)

McMahon sustained his “way till the facts are in” position on his decision.

Earlier this week two anti-NASCAR “activists” (one of whom was the Democratic sacrificial lamb in the last Borough Prez race beatdown) called on McMahon to publicly announce his stand, claiming McMahon’s noncommitted position a purely political (well DUH!) play:

Lauria and Luisi accused McMahon (D-North Shore) of vacillating so he can garner support from both sides of the issue in anticipation of a campaign for higher office.

“It borders on irresponsibility for him after a year and a half to not be able to make a decision,” Lauria, vice president of the Staten Island Citizens Against the Track (SCAT), said over the weekend. “I personally call on him to publicly take a stand on this issue in the interest of his constituents.”

McMahon responded by kinda/sorta telling them to pound sand; that he was performing his duty as a responsible public official:

“I look upon the track proposal with a great deal of skepticism,” he said. “But I think it’s my role as a public official to allow the process to be completed.”

He called it “despicable” that the track adversaries would accuse him of reserving public judgment as a ploy for political support.

(“skepticism” … Oddospeak!)

McMahon went on to say he was withholding judgement until the formal process had been played out before giving the plan his thumb-down decision:

“I don’t think the proposal is finished. I don’t think the environmental review process has been completed, and I don’t think Staten Islanders have all the facts yet to make a final decision,” he said.

(Mikey, you KNEW the proposal and environmental review had not been completed, so what’s with this ‘thinking’ crap? And on this (or damn near any other) commercial development issue presented to Staten Islanders, the facts don’t mean jack! The answer is always gonna be “NO!” Hell, look at the shitstorms that form whenever anyone floats the idea of fast ferries to improve the time it takes commuters to get to Manhattan; they make perfect sense… which means they’ll never happen. The Rock is NIMBYtown. The only reason that power plant got built in Rosebank was because Pataki shoved it down our throats.)

Anyway, that was the song he was singing on Monday; this was his tune on Tuesday:

Councilman Michael McMahon announced yesterday that he would vote against the NASCAR track proposed for Staten Island, making opposition unanimous among the borough’s three City Council members.

That’s gotta be a land speed record in spine removal…

He also said that Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Melinda Katz, chairwoman of the Council’s Land Use Committee, have joined the Island delegation in asking the Bloomberg administration to examine other zoning alternatives for the site and possibly buy the property through eminent domain.

Said McMahon (D-North Shore): “It was always clear to me that the issue of traffic that paralyzes our roadways had to be addressed by ISC. That was never accomplished. Moreover, the presence of NASCAR would only worsen our dire traffic conditions.”

It’s kinda breathtaking, his sudden decision to toss aside his “wait until the facts are in” position. Nothing changed; the process continues to go forward. The deciding factor “explanation” McMahon gave the [tag]Staten Island Advance[/tag] Retreat for his overnight conversion to NASCAR foe in an accompanying interview is so ridiculous, such pure fucking horseshit, McMahon should get points for having the balls to float it in public (which begs the question: Whose shelf now sports a jar containing Michael McMahon’s balls?).

Announcing also that he and his fellow City Councilfolk are asking Nanny Bloomberg to step in and “make them dirty redneck NASCAR bastards go away!” by either rezoning the site or invoking eminent domain, is beyong the pale, and Bloomberg’s response: “Piss off, jerkoffs,” was swiftly delivered.

So now that McMahon’s been castrated and thrown in with his fellow Island Councilmen, the anti-NASCAR squad feels it’s a done deal; the track’s DOA. Oddo and Lanza–who are acting like drunk, beer-muscled punks, not sober, level headed public officials–fired off a “scathing” letter to ISC, advising them to pack up and hit the road. ISC responded with a letter of their own, saying what any rational organization proposing a project of NASCAR’s scale would say: Hear us out; give us a chance to present it to the public before you decide.

I find it telling–and a reprehensibly disgusting example of the level of “journalism” practiced down on Fingerboard Road–that, in reading the article concerning the dueling letters, the Retreat obviously edited the shit out of the Oddo/Lanza screed they published. There are things in the article that don’t appear in the version of the letter the Retreat presented to the public.

Oh yeah, “the public.” Up to now the public–which to me does NOT include political hack bastards or pro/con “activists” who’ve made their decisions without remotely giving a damn about ISC’s final, official proposal–hasn’t been heard from on the matter. Head editorial page hack at the Retreat, Mark Hanley, today addressed how members of the public who–like yours truly–may not yet know what side they take on all of this, because they lack any facts to base a decision, have been blown off in this whole affair while the loudmouthed “activists” and opportunistic political pissants preen and scream:

These undecided people may even make up a majority of Staten Islanders, but you’d never think it because they’re not the ones making all the noise about NASCAR. Vocal opponents of the project probably outnumber vocal proponents, from all we’ve heard, but they’re greatly overstating the situation when they suggest that Staten Islanders are universally against the track.

But with so many of Staten Island’s elected leaders having already declared their unequivocal opposition — before any final plan is actually presented — we wonder who represents those undecideds and in-betweeners.

Hanley then puts McMahon and Oddo under the microscope, questioning whether they are acting like elected representatives of Staten Islanders should be expected to perform when something as divisive as the racetrack proposal is put on the public plate, and find them both lacking:

These lawmakers are entitled to their beliefs, of course, and their position does represent a significant segment of Staten Islanders. Where they’ve failed, though, is in gathering all the information they possibly can on behalf of all Staten Islanders, as a lot of Staten Islanders are quietly doing themselves, before taking a position. The lawmakers recognized this responsibility at one time, but sadly, have now abandoned it.

No, Hanley, what’s sad in this entire affair is how the Fingerboard Follies went along with the idea that either of these guys were telling the truth about not having already made their minds up. Hell, look at the way you fuckers edited the letter Oddo and Lanza sent to ISC…. You cut out the parts where they probably sounded like punk idiots, threatening ISC with woe if they didn’t just pack their bags and go….

You protected them.
The public you say you’re so concerned be properly represented deserved to see that letter in its entirety. It’s part of the “facts” around this whole shitride.

When you motherfuckers are willing to carry water for an elected official in that kind of manner it is YOUR WHOLE GODDAMNED CREW that are the biggest bastards in all of this.

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