ALBANY -– If it’s summertime, must be ripe for bigfooting.
But today was unique: bigfooting a bigfooter.
At 2:30, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer appeared outside the Buffalo Bills stadium with an announcement that he had his own solution to help keep the team in Buffalo.
Schumer, long known for his ability to swoop in to claim a headline, gave no heads-up about his idea to officials in the Erie County Executive’s office or Gov. Andrew Cuomo -– whose administrations have been negotiating a deal for a new stadium lease for the team.
The response from Cuomo? Two hours later, and just in time for the evening broadcast news shows, the governor came out with his own announcement: the state is hiring an outside legal expert to help in stadium lease negotiations with the Bills.
[The expert, Irwin Raij, has a long line of sports business dealings; in an earlier life, he was an attorney in the general counsel’s office at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under its then Secretary, Andrew Cuomo. Raij’s new contract with the Cuomo administration is for up to $50,000, though there is nothing to limit the state from extending the deal for more money.]
Wednesday Bills’ press release tit-for-tat came a day after the governor flew around the state promoting a new crackdown on synthetic drugs. Supporters of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman saw it as a useful idea, but noted it came months after Schneiderman began his crackdown on synthetic drug sales.
Schumer, Cuomo and Schneiderman are all Democrats.