The biggest critic of the Amazon deal in Albany is Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris of Queens. And after news of the deal's demise, Gianaris wasn't budging from his position, despite polls showing public support for the deal.
"You can make these polls say whatever you want them to say,” Gianaris said. “What I can do is what I always do. And that is do what is best and right for my community that a represent. And the State that i represent. I did that. And I wouldn't change a thing about how I did things."
Governor Cuomo responded to the news by pointing the blame squarely at Gianaris and his colleagues in the state senate.
He said in a statement, "The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity."
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins appointed Gianaris to the little known Public Authorities Control Board, or PACB, which would have to sign off on the state subsidies for the Amazon deal.
Sources close to the negotiations say that move spooked the company and killed the deal.
"First of all, I'm not on the PACB. My appointment is pending,” Gianaris said. “The Governor did not appoint me. It's his appointment to make. So even as I stand here today, I do not serve on that board."
Cuomo has veto power over Stewart-Cousins appointment to the PACB. But as the story of Amazon's departure unfolded Thursday, State Senator Tood Kaminsky, a Long Island Democrat, invited Amazon to set up its new headquarters in Nassau County Long Island. We asked if this was a sign of a larger rift among Senate Democrats.
"People disagree about individual issues all the time,” Gianaris said. “I am happy to support them in the effort to get to Long Island."
And statements began pouring in from county executives across the state asking Amazon to consider their upstate communities for its new campus. Many areas of upstate New York are economically depressed, and lack economic development and jobs.