Nause­ated over Ama­zon bun­gle

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY DE­NIS SLATTERY

Ama­zon’s de­ci­sion to drop out of a bil­lion-dol­lar deal to build a sec­ond head­quar­ters in Queens was the “great­est tragedy” Gov. Cuomo has ever seen in pol­i­tics.

The gover­nor again slammed state Se­nate Democrats Fri­day over op­po­si­tion to the project, cast­ing blame on ad­vo­cates and lo­cal pols who spoke out against tax abate­ments and in­cen­tives the state and city of­fered Ama­zon.

“What hap­pened is the great­est tragedy that I have seen since I have been in govern­ment,” Cuomo said dur­ing an in­ter­view with WAMC’s Alan Char­tock.

Ama­zon cited po­lit­i­cal back­lash Feb. 14 when it scut­tled plans to build a tech cam­pus in Long Is­land City.

Cuomo said the loss of a po­ten­tial 25,000 jobs made him a lit­tle queasy.

“I am be­yond an­noy­ance,” Cuomo said. “Los­ing Ama­zon was bad govern­ment. It made me sick to my stom­ach.”

The gover­nor de­clined a chance to di­rectly blame outspoken Ama­zon op­po­nent Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez (D-Bronx and Queens), say­ing “she had no govern­men­tal role in this.”

But he fired broad­sides against ad­vo­cates and politi­cians who balked at the $3 bil­lion in in­cen­tives of­fered to one of the world’s most valu­able com­pa­nies and protested Ama­zon’s anti-union stance.

“‘We gave them $3 bil­lion.’ How ig­no­rant a state­ment,” Cuomo added, not­ing that the tax breaks would have been far out­weighed by the gains.

Cuomo also took aim at his fel­low Democrats in Al­bany — specif­i­cally state Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader An­drea Ste­wartCousins (D-Yonkers). He said Se­nate Democrats could have saved face had they re­scinded the ap­point­ment of Sen. Michael Gia­naris (D-Queens) to an ob­scure state board that would have had veto power over the project.

“Pri­mar­ily, the state Se­nate made the mis­guided de­ci­sion, in my opin­ion, which is now clear to all, to treat Ama­zon as a lo­cal po­lit­i­cal is­sue and de­fer the de­ci­sion mak­ing to the lo­cal po­lit­i­cal se­na­tor,” Cuomo said, with­out men­tion­ing Gia­naris by name.

The gover­nor did not men­tion he has the power to re­ject Ama­zon critic Gia­naris’ ap­point­ment to the Pub­lic Au­thor­i­ties Con­trol Board.

Se­nate Democrats re­turned fire Fri­day, knock­ing Cuomo for his “at­tempts to di­vide Democrats.”

“The gover­nor should spend less time with base­less at­tacks and at­tempts to di­vide Democrats and more time fix­ing his flawed eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment process so we can move for­ward and help busi­ness and the com­mu­nity thrive,” spokesman Mike Mur­phy said in a state­ment.

De­spite his harsh words, Cuomo claimed the di­vi­sive is­sue hasn’t soured his re­la­tion­ship with leg­is­la­tors in the state cap­i­tal — but he said vot­ers may feel dif­fer­ently.

“No, it doesn’t spell trou­ble be­tween me and them,” he said. “It spells trou­ble be­tween them and the state of New York.”

Cuomo, who said last week he would not want to run for re­elec­tion after hav­ing op­posed the deal, warned vot­ers may be par­tic­u­larly irked at sub­ur­ban Democrats across Long Is­land, the Hud­son Val­ley and up­state.

“That’s where they’re go­ing to pay a price,” the gover­nor added.


Gov. Cuomo helped lure Ama­zon to Queens and was quite up­set when the etailer de­cided to aban­don its planned head­quar­ters.

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