Friday, February 15, 2019

Report: NY Political Infighting Killed Amazon Deal

NY Post cover
The watershed moment that led Amazon to reconsider coming to Queens came on Feb. 4 — when a fierce political foe was appointed to a state board with the power to thwart the project, reports The NY Post citing sources involved in the discussions.

That was the day state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins nominated Sen. Michael Gianaris as her appointee to NY's obscure Public Authorities Control Board.

Gianaris, who represents Long Island City, where Amazon was planning to build one of its new headquarters, bitterly opposed the $3 billion in subsidies offered by the city and state and was miffed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t consult him on the deal, according to sources.

Gianaris’ selection rattled the company.

“Amazon saw it as a sign that the state Senate was against the deal. It put the deal over the cliff,” the insider said.

A second source said, “That really shook them up. It had a chilling effect.”

Three days later, Gianaris went on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York” to demand the deal be scrapped and renegotiated.

And the following day, the Washington Post — owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — reported that the e-tail giant was considering pulling out of the project.

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