Cuomo issues stern criticism to deniers of NYS role in Buffalo's turnaround

Aug 4, 2016

Governor Cuomo says those lawmakers who say New York State did not play a part in Buffalo's economic turnaround should "go home" and "get in touch with reality."

Talking with reporters after a state Assembly meeting on New York's economic programs, Cuomo advised lawmakers to experience the progress firsthand.

Credit WBFO News file photo

"Walk down any block in Buffalo and put your microphone in the face of a person from Buffalo and say, 'Is the economy in Buffalo getting better or not?' Unless they're from a different planet, they're going to say, 'The economy's getting better,'' Cuomo challenged.

"And then say, Do you think the state was helpful in that effort?' And they're going to say, 'Yes, the state was helpful.' My advice to the Albany politicians? Go home. Get in touch with reality. Talk to your neighbors. Visit Buffalo. You clearly haven't been there in a long time," Cuomo said.

The Assembly meeting, led by Kenmore Democrat Robin Schimminger, heavily scrutinized the benefits of state programs compared to the millions of dollars spent. The programs are also the subject of a federal probe.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli also criticized the value of spending $50 million more on a new advertising campaign for the state.

"The advertising starts with the premise that we made mistakes, because the state made mistakes," Cuomo confessed. "It raised taxes too high year after year after year after year and we chased businesses away and we chased young people away. That's why Buffalo was in decline for 40 or 50 years and we have to say to the world, "We made a mistake and we learned.'"

Cuomo said the new campaign advertises all the state's economic programs to say, "We're not the old New York. We know you left the state because of high taxes, but take another look."