Readers Write: Martins’ dishonest claim of outreach to Amazon

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As Election Day draws closer, Republican candidate for Nassau County executive Jack “Honest Leadership” Martins continues to court undecided voters with lazy sleight-of-hand tactics.

 Martins’ campaign issued a formal press release last week, claiming that he had “contacted Amazon officials to suggest that Nassau County would be a great location for Amazon’s second headquarters in North America.”

 At first glance, this sounds impressive.  However, there are several things provably dishonest about this announcement.

 To begin with, the language in Martins’ announcement is deliberately vague. 

Martins didn’t claim that he had a dialogue with any particular member of Amazon’s management team or even that he spoke directly to anyone working for Amazon.  Martins merely claimed he “contacted Amazon officials.”

 Martins could have done something as simple as sending an email, saying, “Come to Nassau County, Amazon,” and still claim that he “contacted Amazon officials.”  There is no reason for Martins to be so vague other than to inflate the importance of such a contact.

 While this may seem like semantic nitpicking, all one need do is examine Amazon’s official eight-page proposal guide to see just how wantonly deceitful Jack Martins and his campaign staff are being.

 1.  A formal proposal is required for any locality vying for this new facility.  Calling up or emailing Amazon and going, “Come to Nassau County. We’re great,” won’t cut it.

2. The proposal must suggest a specific existing building or, failing that, a specific building site.  Martins has not indicated any such site he considers appropriate.

3. Amazon considers “incentives,” such as “tax credits/exemptions, relocation grants, workforce grants, utility incentives/grants and permitting and fee reductions,” an important factor in its decision. 

As Martins is not currently an elected or appointed government official, he has no authority to offer any such incentives or even submit a proposal on Nassau County’s behalf.

4. The deadline for the submission of a proposal is Oct. 19, 2017.  Even if Martins wins the election and gains the power to submit a proposal or offer incentives on Nassau County’s behalf, it will be too late for him to do so.

 It’s also hypocritical of Martins to champion Nassau County as the perfect business environment, when he’s spent the last several months defaming it as a gang-ridden hellscape.

 Further, Amazon indicates that the new facility will require the hiring of up to 50,000 employees.  If Amazon were to choose Nassau County, the usual NIMBY protesters would come out of the woodwork to forcefully oppose the project.

Given Martins’ recent behavior (e.g., opposing the sorely needed Long Island Rail Road third track project on behalf of the NIMBY contingent), it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t side with the protesters and try to sink such a huge economic opportunity.

 Alas, if Nassau County wanted to put itself in serious contention for this project, it would be up to current County Executive Ed Mangano. 

However, he’s too busy preparing for his corruption trial and counting down his final days in office to spearhead such a massive project.

Perhaps local towns or villages within Nassau County, such as the Town of North Hempstead, could submit their own proposals.

 As for Martins, his suggestion that he’s working to win Nassau County the project is a pure, unadulterated lie and an insult to the voters of Nassau County.

 Matthew Zeidman

New Hyde Park

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