Amazon Hq2 Deal Stirs New Tensions In New York
On Friday, Mr. Cuomo reacted to The Post story by again denouncing the Senate, calling its actions “governmental malpractice” and saying the senators would pay at the ballot box if Amazon bolted. “It would be a tremendous loss,” he said.
Mike Murphy, a spokesman for the Democratic majority in the Senate, did not comment directly on the Amazon news, but seemed dismayed by the governor’s criticism of Albany’s upper chamber. “It is unfortunate that the Governor is trying to divide the Democratic Party at this crucial and historic time,” Mr. Murphy said in a statement.
Mr. Cuomo has the power to reject the selection of Mr. Gianaris. But doing so would force a standoff with the new Democratic majority in the Senate, which would then have to nominate someone new to the board. The governor has yet to say what he will do.
Mr. Gianaris, who opposes state and city incentives for Amazon that could amount to $3 billion, said that he had not been aware of any high-level concern at Amazon about the plan. Still, he said, “If Amazon’s goal is to extort New York through threats, that says a lot about whether we should want them here at all.”
Jonathan Westin, a vocal opponent of the Amazon deal and the executive director of New York Communities for Change, expressed skepticism over the idea that the company would back out. “It really feels like this threat of Amazon to leave has been choreographed with the governor” to put pressure on Senate Democrats, he said.
If the company were reconsidering its plans for a campus in New York City, which would include between 25,000 and 40,000 employees, it does not appear to have taken steps to make contingency plans.
Stephen Moret, who runs the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, which negotiated the deal in that state, said in an interview on Tuesday that he had not heard from Amazon about shifting jobs from New York to Northern Virginia. Still, he added, “We wouldn’t be disappointed if that happened.”
A spokesman for Mr. de Blasio said “the mayor fully expects Amazon to deliver on its promise to New Yorkers.”