Sounds like someone is backtracking and changing their tune here somewhat. Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, is now claiming that they would “welcome having a process” to bring Amazon back to New York City, but only with community input.
Of course, this comes as both Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti are coming under investigation by the FEC for illegal use of campaign funds. You have to wonder at the timing.
Ocasio-Cortez bashed the Amazon deal from the beginning:
“Ocasio-Cortez initially slammed the Amazon deal because it would have given a range of tax breaks and public subsidies worth up to $3 billion to Amazon in exchange for the creation of 25,000 full-time, high-paying jobs over 12 years. For its part, Amazon has said the second headquarters would have brought in about $27.5 billion in tax revenue to New York City and state over 25 years.
“New York has a thriving tech sector – Google plans to double its workforce to 14,000 over the coming years – while Facebook, Uber, WeWork and Apple are all expanding in the city.
“The freshman Democratic congresswoman, along with other local politicians, including New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and New York State Sen. Michael Gianaris, highlighted the deal’s cost and the potentially negative impact of gentrification at a time when the city is dealing with a crumbling, underfunded subway system.
“Part of it has to do with tax breaks, but it’s not the whole story,” she told CBS News.”
“The deal was sprung on the community without any input and there’s a real cost whenever tech companies come in without community input. Rents go up, people get evicted, there’s an actual human cost,” droned Chakrabarti in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’d welcome having a process, yes… but I don’t know where the talks are at this stage.”
“If we can do it through a community process and there’s a way for the community to actually engage and make their demands heard, I think that would have been a better way to have done that,” he continued. What makes this guy think he’s in charge here?
A spokesperson for Amazon defended the company’s actions in a statement to Fox News:
“On day one we had our first community meeting at Queensbridge Houses. That meeting included everyone in the local community infrastructure and it set the tone for the sustained and widespread community outreach we conducted in the months that followed.”
“This month, Chakrabarti has faced controversy after an FEC complaint accused Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti of “using two PACs and LLCs to hide hundreds of thousands in campaign dollars.”
“A Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed Monday accused Cortez chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti of using two PACs (Political Action Committees) he founded to funnel around $1 million to two of his private companies,” reported Breitbart News’ Michelle Moons, Monday, who added that the “companies may have been used to hide what funds were spent on.”
“Ocasio-Cortez was one of the most prominent public figures to oppose Amazon’s plans to build part of its second headquarters in New York City, before the company pulled out in February due to heavy criticism.
“Following Amazon’s withdrawal, Ocasio-Cortez celebrated, claiming New Yorkers had “defeated Amazon’s corporate greed.”
“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” she posted on Twitter, receiving over 55,000 likes.
“Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NY), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and the Job Creators Network blamed Ocasio-Cortez for Amazon’s withdrawal.
“I’ll take on any progressive anywhere that thinks it’s a good idea to lose jobs and revenue because I think that’s out of touch with what working people want,” de Blasio claimed. “Working people are very smart and very discerning. They want jobs, they want revenue, they want the kinds of things that government can do for them… They understand they have to be paid for.”
“The Job Creators Network even displayed a billboard in Times Square, declaring, “Thanks for nothing, AOC!”’
A lot of people in New York are ticked off at Ocasio-Cortez over this. She cost them thousands of jobs and a ton of revenue. I never thought I would agree with comrade de Blasio on anything… but he’s right about jobs and revenue here.
As for Amazon, they are now looking towards Virginia and Tennessee. “There are a number of folks on the ground who oppose our presence. We don’t think there’s a path forward in terms of working with them over the long term.”
Way to go AOC… she’s a typical economy-killing socialist. Looks like she’s not the boss after all.