MetroFocus

POLITICAL ROUNDUP

Transcript

>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M JACK FORD.
MORE PROTESTS IN LONG ISLAND
CITY OVER THE PLANNED OPENING OF
AMAZON'S NEW HEADQUARTERS.
FOR THOSE OPPOSED, THE DAY
WOULDN'T BE MORE APPROPRIATE AS
THE RETAIL GIANT WILL RAKE IN
BIG BUCKS TODAY, GREEN MONDAY,
ONE OF THE BUSIEST ONLINE RETAIL
DAYS OF THE YEAR, RIGHT BEHIND
CYBER MONDAY.
LAST YEAR'S CYBER MONDAY, AMAZON
DID MORE BUSINESS THAN ANY OTHER
COMPANY IN AMERICA, FOUR TIMES
AS MUCH AS WALMART, WHICH CAME
IN AT NUMBER TWO.
BUT AT THE HEART OF THE DEBATE
HERE IN NEW YORK, DOLLARS AND
COMMON SENSE.
GOVERNOR CUOMO AND MAYOR De
BLASIO AGREE IT WILL BE A BOONE
TO THE ECONOMY.
BUT OTHERS SAY IT WON'T BE WORTH
IT.
JOINING ME NOW WITH THE LATEST
WRANGLING AND OTHER ISSUES,
HERE'S JONATHAN LENTZ.
GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.
>> GOOD TO BE BACK.
>> WE ALWAYS HAVE A LOT TO TALK
ABOUT.
LET'S START WITH AMAZON.
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES THAT THE
FOLKS WHO ARE PROTESTING ARE
FOCUSING ON?
>> I THINK THE BIGGEST ISSUE ARE
THE STATE AND CITY INCENTIVES,
TOTALLING NEARLY $12 BILLION.
IT'S INTERESTING, SOME OF THE
LAWMAKERS THAT HAVE JOINED IN
THESE PROTESTS AND RAISED
CONCERNS, THEY WERE INITIALLY
FOR AMAZON COMING HERE.
THE DEAL BREAKER FOR SOME OF
THEM, IS THAT TOO MUCH MONEY
WE'RE JUST GIVING AWAY TO A
COMPANY THAT IS DOING VERY WELL,
VERY PROFITABLE?
>> WHAT HAVE THE SUPPORTERS OF
THE PROGRAM SAID IN RESPONSE TO
THAT NOTION THAT, YEAH, IT'S
MORE THAN SOME OTHER LOCATIONS
ARE GIVING, BUT IT'S STILL WORTH
IT.
WHY ARE WE BEING TOLD IT'S STILL
WORTH IT?
>> IT'S GREAT FOR THE ECONOMY,
ARGUABLY.
IT BRINGS IN NEW WORKERS.
TONS OF WORKERS, TONS OF
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, YOU'LL
HAVE SORT OF SUBSIDIARY
COMPANIES, OTHER COMPANIES,
RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA, OTHER
SUPPORT SERVICES THAT COULD
REALLY BUILD ON JUST THIS BASIC
INVESTMENT, WHICH ITSELF IS VERY
BIG.
AND ANOTHER INTERESTING ARGUMENT
THAT I'VE HEARD IS ALSO NEW YORK
CITY TRADITIONALLY HAS BEEN VERY
DEPENDANT ON THE FINANCIAL
SECTOR, WALL STREET, AND WHEN
THE MARKETS AREN'T DOING SO
WELL, YOU WANT MORE DIVERSE
ECONOMY, STARTING WITH MICHAEL
BLOO
BLOOMBERG, THERE WAS AN EFFORT
TO INCENTIVIZE THE TECH WORLD,
BRINGING THAT IN.
FROM FORMER MAYOR BLOOMBERG'S
PERSPECTIVE, THIS IS GREAT.
YOU HAVE BIG COMPANIES COMING
IN.
IF THE MARKET GOES DOWN, YOU
STILL HAVE THE TECH BUSINESS
KEEPING THINGS AFLOAT HERE.
>> PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT
QUESTION IS, WILL THESE PROTESTS
MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?
>> THEY'RE STARTING TO REGISTER.
THE PUBLIC IS PAYING ATTENTION.
INTERESTINGLY TO THAT POINT,
THERE WAS A RECENT POLL DONE
THAT SHOWS THAT A MAJORITY OF
NEW YORK CITY VOTERS DO SUPPORT
AMAZON COMING HERE.
SOMETHING LIKE 2-1.
EVEN ON A QUESTION OF INCENTIVES
WHERE I THINK THERE'S A STRONGER
ARGUMENT AGAINST IT, IT'S EVENLY
SPLIT, BUT SLIGHTLY MORE PEOPLE
DO SUPPORT EVENING THE INCENTIVE
PACKAGE.
PEOPLE LIKE AMAZON.
IT'S EASY, CONVENIENT.
THEY RUN A PRETTY GOOD SERVICE.
>> ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS AND ONE
OF THE RESPONSES PEOPLE HAVE
SAID ABOUT, WELL, IT'S GOING TO
DRIVE RENTS UP, IT'S GOING TO
DRIVE PROPERTY VALUES UP.
IN RESPONSE, I'VE SEEN PEOPLE
SAYING WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
25,000 NEW JOBS.
IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN
25,000 NEW PEOPLE MOVING IN.
WHAT ARE WE SEEING IN TERMS OF
THAT DISCUSSION?
>> THAT'S A VERY GOOD POINT.
IT'S A VERY LARGE CITY.
YOU GET THIS LARGE GROWTH YEAR
TO YEAR NATURALLY IN NEW YORK
CITY.
SO THAT SAID, I THINK THERE ARE
SOME REAL CONCERNS IN THOSE
NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE IS YOU SEE
RENTS GO UP, AND MORE OF THAT
DISPLACEMENT THAN YOU'VE SEEN
ALL AROUND THE CITY AT VARIOUS
TIMES.
>> I DOUBT THERE IS ANY
POSSIBILITY THAT THIS DEAL IS
GOING TO GO AWAY BECAUSE OF
THESE PROTESTS.
BUT IS THERE A POSSIBILITY THERE
COULD BE SOME AMENDMENTS TO THE
DEAL?
>> THAT'S A POSSIBILITY.
I HAVEN'T SEEN ANY INDICATION
FROM AMAZON THEY'RE WILLING TO
ENTERTAIN THAT.
BUT YOU HAVE SEEN A LOT OF
NEGATIVE PRESS COVERAGE.
LAWMAKERS TALK ABOUT PASSING
LEGISLATION, THERE ARE CERTAIN
LEGAL ROUTES YOU COULD PURSUE TO
HOLD THIS UP, MAYBE THERE WOULD
BE SOME KIND OF NEGOTIATION.
ONE THING I'VE SEEN FLOATED, WHY
DOESN'T AMAZON INVEST IN SOME OF
THE SUBWAYS.
WE CLEARLY HAVE A NEED FOR
UPGRADES TO THE INFRASTRUCTURE.
THERE'S A QUESTION WILL THIS PUT
MORE STRESS ON THAT SYSTEM?
MAYBE THEY COULD AGREE TO FUND
SOME IMPROVEMENTS THAT ARE BADLY
NEEDED.
>> WE'LL SEE HOW THAT PLAYS OUT.
SOME OTHER ISSUES I WANT TO TALK
ABOUT.
THE NOTION OF THE IDEA OF A
SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
IN NEW YORK STATE.
IT'S BEEN PUSHED BEFORE, BUT
THERE'S ALWAYS BEEN RESISTANCE
ON THE POLITICAL SIDE.
WE'RE HEARING NOW THAT IT'S
PERCOLATING TO THE TOP AGAIN.
TELL US ABOUT THAT, AND QUICKLY,
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN AND WHAT ARE
THE PROSPECTS FOR IT?
>> SURE.
SINGLE PAYER CARE, MOST PEOPLE
ENVISION IT ON A NATIONAL LEVEL.
BUT IT'S ONE ENTITY COVERING ALL
THE PAYMENTS, NOT THE PROVIDING
OF CARE.
THERE COULD STILL BE PRIVATE
SECTOR DOCTORS, PHYSICIANS,
HOSPITALS.
BUT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES
WOULD BE IMPACTED HERE.
THE STATE WOULD TAKE OVER THE
PAYMENTS.
AND THE KEY DIFFERENCE GOING
INTO NEXT YEAR IS, DEMOCRATS
TOOK CONTROL OF THE STATE
SENATE, SO DEMOCRATS CONTROL
BOTH HOUSES AND THE STATE
LEGISLATURE.
THAT'S WHAT MAKES THIS A
POSSIBILITY.
THE BIG QUESTION MARK IS
GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO.
HE SAID LOOK, THIS IS AN
INTERESTING CONCEPT, SOMETHING I
COULD GET BEHIND.
BUT HE'S SAID ALSO IT SHOULD BE
DONE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, NOT
SO SURE THAT NEW YORK IS THE
PLACE TO DO IT.
>> WE'VE BEEN REPORTING, AND
YOU'VE BEEN REPORTING ON THIS,
THE NYCHA LEAD PAINT SCANDAL
THAT'S BEEN REVEALED.
IT'S ALMOST LIKE PULLING BACK
THE LAYERS OF AN ONION.
RECENTLY, SOME SUGGESTIONS OF,
YOU KNOW, THE SCANDAL, IF YOU
WILL, IN TERMS OF PROVIDING
DETAILS.
TELL ME WHAT'S GOING ON WITH
THAT.
>> SURE.
THE CITY'S INVESTIGATION ARM,
INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION ARM,
THEIR LEADER WAS RECENTLY FIRED,
MARK PETERS.
THERE WAS A BIT OF A SCANDAL IN
THE REASONS WHY HE WAS FIRED.
HE SAID LOOK, THE De BLASIO
ADMINISTRATION IS GOING AFTER ME
BECAUSE I WAS INVESTIGATING
NYCHA.
THEY TRIED TO SHUT IT DOWN.
WHAT'S HAPPENED NOW IS THERE IS
A PRIVATE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
REPRESENTING TENANTS IN NYCHA,
AND THEY WANT MARK PETERS TO
TESTIFY, CITY HALL SAYING NO, HE
DIDN'T DO THAT.
SO WE'LL SEE HOW THAT PLAYS OUT.
>> LAST QUESTION, AND WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT A PAY RAISE FOR
LEGISLATORS.
>> SURE.
THIS IS A VERY BIG DEAL.
ACTUALLY, A QUESTIONABLE
PROCESS.
BUT IF IT GOES THROUGH, TATE
LAWMAKERS WOULD GET AN INCREASE
OF $50,000.
THEY MAKE ABOUT $80,000 RIGHT
NOW.
BY 2021, THEY WOULD BE MAKE
$130,000.
WHY THIS IS QUESTIONABLE, THE
STATE LEGISLATURE DIDN'T VOTE ON
THIS.
THEY VOTED TO SET UP A TASK
FORCE THAT WOULD THEN COME UP
WITH RECOMMENDATION.
THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE
BINDING, UNLESS THE
LEGISLATURE -- THEY PROBABLY
WON'T VOTE NO.
>> AND IT TAKES THE LEGISLATORS
OUT OF THE POSITION OF HAVING TO
CAST A YES VOTE FOR THEIR OWN
PAYCHECKS.
>> EXACTLY.
>> POLITICS IN NEW YORK.
DELIGHTFULLY EXCITING.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
>> JONATHAN, ALWAYS A PLEASURE.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.
YOU BE WELL.
>> THANK YOU.


URL: https://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2018/12/political-roundup-5/