Cuomo: Losing Amazon HQ was ‘the greatest tragedy’

February 22, 2019 - 1:39 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is breaking his silence on Amazon’s decision not to open up shop in Queens amid a community backlash.

The governor issued a statement after the Amazon deal fell through last week, writing that “a small group [of> politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community.”

RELATED: Anti-Amazon protesters target planned distribution center in QueensAmazon dumps NYC headquarters and its promised 25,000 jobs

But on Friday, he made his first public comments about the tech giant’s decision not to open a new headquarters in Queens amid public pressure. 

Cuomo told WAMC radio in Albany that Amazon’s decision to back out of a pledge to build a new headquarters in Long Island City made him sick to his stomach.

“What happened is the greatest tragedy that I have seen since I have been in government,” Cuomo said.

The governor blames fellow Democrats in the state Senate, especially Sen. Michael Gianaris, who was nominated to the Public Authorities Control Board, a state board that had the power to nix the deal.

"Forget the politics and forget deferring the entire state Senate to a single senator's politics," Cuomo said of Democrats. 

Asked if the episode spells trouble for him and Senate Democrats, Cuomo said that it spells trouble for Senate Democrats and the people of New York. 

"The best politics is good government. Losing Amazon was bad government," Cuomo said.

The governor says good politics would have been pulling Gianaris off the state board in the best interest of the state.

Senate Democrats responded, saying they made a recommendation and the governor could had the power to reject it. 

Amazon had promised to bring at least 25,000 jobs to New York, leading Cuomo to jokingly propose changing his name to "Amazon Cuomo" to woo the online retail giant.