What a difference a month makes. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who was one of the people Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed for Amazon backtracking its HQ2 deal last month, is now asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to come back.
"Please reconsider what you've decided. New York is absolutely the best place for Amazon to grow," Stewart-Cousins said in an interview on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC.
Her position stands in sharp contrast to her deputy, Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens, who was one of the most vocal critics of the deal to bring Amazon to Long island City. The Senate majority leader recommended Gianaris to an obscure Albany control board that could have blocked the deal.
Amazon decided to pull the plug shortly after that announcement. But Cuomo immediately began asking Amazon to reconsider. And earlier this month, he also asked for cooperation from the state Senate.
Stewart-Cousins's public plea to Amazon comes one day after Cuomo and the majority leader had a heart-to-heart phone call, after Cuomo was accused of racism and sexism over his constant criticism of Stewart-Cousins and the state Senate.
"The governor and I have spoken, and we are planning on moving forward, quite frankly, in positive ways," Stewart-Cousins said.
Even with a renewed attempt to court Amazon and woo it back to New York, there has been no sign the company would actually reconsider. The opposition among local leaders, who say they were not consulted over the deal, remains fierce. Gianaris declined to comment on the change of heart from his majority leader, which would seem to sharply contrast with his own position.