ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo lashed out at Long Island’s Democratic senators after Amazon withdrew from a headquarters project in Queens and he partly blamed the move on the Senate’s Democratic majority.
“The loss of Amazon is a tremendous blow to Long Island’s economic potential,” said Dani Lever, spokeswoman for Cuomo who brokered the deal with Amazon. “Senator Todd Kaminsky, should have fought for Long Island’s economic interest when the State Senate tanked the Amazon plan by placing a stalwart Amazon opponent on the government approval board to pander to the local socialists.
“Senator Kaminsky cowered when he should have shown courage,” Lever said, singling Kaminsky out because he is the “dean” of the Long Island delegation.
The surprise announcement by the company prompted Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) and James Gaughran (D-Northport) to call for Amazon to bring its headquarters to Long Island. That seems a long shot at best because the company has a long list of locales nationwide that clamored for the headquarters and Amazon said in a blog post Thursday that “we do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time.”
Amazon’s withdrawal illuminated the balance the Senate’s new Democratic majority must strike between liberals, who opposed the Amazon deal; and the moderate suburban Democrats, including those on Long Island, who supported the project, and helped Democrats win the majority in the November elections. The suburban Democrats remain the most vulnerable in the majority for the 2020 elections because they represent districts that still have large concentrations of Republicans.
“I have been public in support of the project,” Gaughran said in an interview. “I am very disappointed with what happened and if there is an opportunity for further discussion, that should absolutely take place.”
“I don’t know where this anger is coming from,” Kaminsky said of Cuomo. “We did everything we could internally and externally to support this project.”
State Republican Chairman Ed Cox said Amazon’s departure shows the danger of one-party rule in state government.
“Where are the suburban Democrats who promised us they would stand up to New York City interests and do what’s right for upstate, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley?” said Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport).
Cuomo, head of the state Democratic Party, said the Senate majority “should be held accountable.”