State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has made a terrible, and terribly consequential, mistake. She has nominated a hardened enemy of Amazon’s plan to bring 25,000-plus high-paying jobs to Long Island City to the state board where even one “no” vote can kill the deal.
Queens Sen. Mike Gianaris, who makes no secret he wants Amazon to get the hell out of town, whose official website hosts a petition entitled “Stop Amazon: #NoHQ2 in LIC,” will likely soon have the power to get his wish on the five-member Public Authorities Control Board.
The PACB isn’t supposed to consider the merits of economic development agreements; its duty is to approve borrowing by agencies like Empire State Development, for the drab but necessary purpose of making sure the debts don’t break the state’s bank.
Gianaris, who says his position on Amazon is “clear and unambiguous and is not changing,” is incapable of making a fair and independent assessment.
Never mind that he, along with City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, in 2017 signed an effusive letter urging Amazon to set up shop here. Ever since Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo landed the commitment — promising $28 billion in private investment that’ll “cost” taxpayers up to $3 billion, as a small fraction in foregone taxes of the economic benefit generated — he’s been railing against it at the top of his lungs.