Cuomo released a scathing op-ed to the press this week, trashing both “extreme conservatives” and “socialists” for attacking the deal that lured Amazon's HQ2 to Queens. Nobody (almost nobody) was spared in his tirade.
The op-ed is published in this week's paper, but we overheard the folks around BQE Media HQ1 who enjoy a higher pay scale than us and offices with windows talking about how they had to cut the whopping 2,000-plus word opinion piece drastically to fit it in the paper.
Lucky for you, we called in a favor from one of the nerds in the tech department who hacked a few emails and scored us a copy of the original.
First, Cuomo goes after the New York Post, and then he sets his sights on the New York Times and CNN, noting that he believes “in the old adage, 'never argue with an institution that buys ink by the barrel,' [but] I also believe in the old adage, 'speak truth to power.'”
(Although we think he might have the concept behind the latter adage slightly reversed.)
All three news outlets have been critical of the deal because of the tax subsidies, but Cuomo turns the tables on all of them, noting that companies owned by Rupert Murdoch (who also owns the Post), the Times and Warner Media, which owns CNN, have all received tax subsidies from New York State.
In fact, Cuomo notes that the Times asked the state to override local zoning processes to crush local opposition to its move to Times Square.
When the paper was criticized, it responded by writing, “It's our responsibility to all of the stake holders in this company to be as competitive as we can be. We're going to take advantage of the opportunities out there.”
Cuomo wonders why Amazon doesn't have the same responsibility to its stake holders.
“I am sure that as these entities have now been highly critical of the concept of 'taxpayer 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 wrote. “Once we receive their rebates it will more than compensate for the Amazon benefit!”
Oh, and all you “progressive socialists out there,” don't think you escaped the governor's wrath!
Cuomo is not going to let it slide that many of the elected officials who are now so vocally opposed to the Amazon deal signed a letter last year supporting the move to New York City. The governor also brings up that the tax breaks that Amazon is taking advantage of were actually authored and passed by the same lawmakers.
“I am also sure the local elected officials opposed to taxpayer subsidies will sponsor legislation demanding a rebate from these entities,” the governor scribbled onto a legal pad in a furious burst of creative energy (we assume). “In addition, there are many other incentive packages, such as the film tax credit and small business programs, and many other businesses receiving similar credits that I am sure they will also cancel.”
Cuomo predicts those same elected officials will do a high-wire flip act when it becomes an advantage to do so.
“Mark my words, come election time, when the opponents of these politician's side with the businesses and residents who are benefitting from the Amazon infusion, these same politicians will find a way to change their position once again,” the op-ed forecasted. “Political winds blow strong in New York, but they also shift rapidly.”
But not everyone felt the sting of the governor's tongue-lashing. No, Cuomo has some (kind of) high praise for the man he has tangled with since the two took office: Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for acting responsibly as a government official rather than catering to a convenient political position,” praised Cuomo.
Okay, it was only 20 words out of 2,017 – or roughly 0.00991572 percent of the op-ed – but it's literally the nicest thing he has said about de Blasio in nearly six years, so let the mayor have this!
Cuomo leaves us with a saying from his father, “we campaign in poetry but we govern in prose.” Apparently, we also sometimes govern in vengeful screed!