- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released an op-ed Monday defending the state’s deal to lure Amazon’s HQ2 to New York City.
- The state gave more than than $US1.5 billion in tax incentives to Amazon, a move that was widely criticised.
- Cuomo said negative coverage of the HQ2 deal came in part because media companies compete with The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday suggested that part of the the backlash to Amazon’s selection of New York City as one of its HQ2 cities came because other media organisations compete with the Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post.
Cuomo, who famously joked that he would change his name to Amazon Cuomo if Amazon came to New York,released an op-ed on Monday defending the more than $US1.5 billion in tax incentives that the state of New York and New York City gave to the online retail giant.
Part of the reason the media has been so quick to critique the deal, Cuomo claimed in the self-published op-ed, was that the companies compete with the Post.
“This transaction is a lightning rod for the political rhetoric on both extremes,” Cuomo wrote. “The extreme conservatives and the socialists both now vehemently oppose ‘incentives’ for Amazon, which is one of the most profitable companies in the country. Compounding the situation, Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post and Amazon and is a competitor to many interests currently involved in the discussion.”
Amid frequent attacks from President Donald Trump on the pair, Amazon and The Washington Post have reiterated that the companies operate independently.
Cuomo also dubbed as hypocrites media companies ranging from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation – which owns the New York Post and Fox News – to the New York Times for criticising the deal. He said those companies also accepted tax incentives from New York for expansions.
“I am sure that as these entities have now been highly critical of the concept of ‘tax payer subsidies’ we will see Rupert Murdoch, the Times, Warner Media/CNN rebate the incentives they have been receiving, refuse them in the future, and will remain in New York,” Cuomo said. “Once we receive their rebates it will more than compensate for the Amazon benefit!”
Read more: New Yorkers are making lots of doomsday predictions about Amazon’s HQ2. Here are all the things that could make it a disaster.
Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio worked extensively to try and convince Amazon to come to the city, offering tax incentives and other perks to convince the company to bring approximately 25,000 jobs.
A wide array of media organisations have come out against the deal or expressed serious scepticism. The critiques have ranged from the Wall Street Journal editorial board to the New York Times board – and even local outlets in other corners of New York.