Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Convention Center - Great For Meeting Planners!

Does Wall Street support the privatization of social security? Sure they do. Why is that? Because they personally will make a lot of money. Do they care if it doesn't make good economic sense for the average person? I think you know the answer to that one.

And so we get to our TU Letter to the Editor of The Day. The letter goes on about why Albany is a perfect destination for a convention center. Then the author goes on to make the case by saying, "I spoke recently to a state government employee who has a grant to run a conference for 2,000-3,000 people and can't bring it to Albany, which is her first choice." Then it goes on to mention some other rather tepid and qualitative arguments for the convention center. Read it and see if it makes you want to spent $225,000,000 in tax payer money on a convention center that local politicians admit will lose money.

Does the letter mention the Brookings Report that says the convention center industry is in a downward spiral? No. Does it mention anything about the overall convention business OR the downtown Albany community that the convention center would reside in? No. Does he mention if he has ever used the existing convention center in downtown Albany? No.

But guess what it does say?

"Some of my state and smaller national association clients...."

Ah ha! The author of the letter is none other than John Giordano, President of Plaza Meetings in Latham. Does anyone doubt that he will make a lot more money if there is a new convention center in Albany? Of course he will make money. But that doesn't mean the taxpayers will. And it certainly doesn't help downtown Albany since he is from Latham.