Cuomo raps Amazon critics amid report company's rethinking

Gov. Cuomo fires broadsides at Senate Dems over Amazon opposition and taxes

Gov. Cuomo fires broadsides at Senate Dems over Amazon opposition and taxes

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that Amazon is reconsidering its decision to award New York City part of its HQ2 project, which the company has said would come with 25,000 jobs and billions in local investment.

On Monday, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins chose Senator Michael Gianaris, a Deomocrat who represents Long Island City, and one of the biggest cricits of the Amazon deal, as one of three members of the board.

The source said the state also has been reaching out to NY officials with suggestions of sharing the project, as was previously reported in ROI-NJ.

Under grilling at a recent city council hearing - where he further angered critics by saying Amazon would oppose any effort by NY workers to unionize - company vice-president Brian Huseman dropped a veiled hint that the giant could pull out.

Mayor Bill De Blasio, who has also championed the Amazon deal, responded to the company's stance on unionization by saying, "This is my message to Amazon: Welcome to New York City; This is a union town". Gianaris was nominated to the Public Authorities Control Board, which has the power to veto the Amazon deal completely.

Van Bramer opposes the deal while admitting the projected 25,000 jobs are important.

Amazon.com Inc is exploring alternatives to locating part of its new headquarters in NY in case the plan should fail due to local opposition, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters on Friday. She said her neighbors may have given the prospect of Amazon a warmer welcome had the subsidy package not been so large.

Though, protests have been a near constant over the four months since Amazon announced its move to Queens.

"The Amazon deal is now officially on the rocks", former NY attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout wrote after Gianaris was appointed to the Public Authorities Control Board. The company also said that it will "separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City's Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City's Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP)".

In one sign of opposition, artists spray-painted Amazon's logo - spelled "AMAZNO" - on streets near the proposed site.

Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said if the Amazon deal falls apart they will have nobody to blame but themselves.

"A major problem is the way the deal was put together shrouded in secrecy and ignoring what New Yorkers want and need", he said. But opponents say they'll keep fighting a project they consider corporate welfare.

"Economic development has been badly broken in NY for some time", Teachout concluded, "but this proposed deal is grotesque in its scope and audacity". Multiple parties reached out to Amazon to make sure that they know Chicago would still want them.

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