BY A.J. BELL
Grand Island Councilman Mike Madigan, a rising star in the local Republican Party, is slamming the Cuomo Administration’s signature economic development project, which is also the subject of an ongoing corruption investigation by United States Attorney Preet Bharara.
Councilman Madigan’s criticism of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $900 million subsidy for billionaire Elon Musk’s Silicon Valley based firm, Solar City, is being widely disseminated via social media. That deal is alleged to have been orchestrated by Buffalo-based venture capitalist and SoftBank Capital partner Jordan Levy.
The criticism comes at a time when a suspiciously large number of Tesla vehicles have been noticed in the Albany area, a region that lacks Tesla dealerships or service centers. In 2015 the firm barely produced 50,000 cars; and since production of the Model S began in 2012, produced fewer than 35,000 each year. The company’s sales volume remains largely on the West Coast.
Some operatives wonder aloud whether some Albany area palms were greased, since the only Tesla service and sales stations in the state are located in the New York City metropolitan area.
On Facebook, the Councilman writes:
The Buffalo News is so corrupted it is incredible. It subtly slipped in that NYS taxpayers are now on the hook for $900M for SolarCity.
Originally we were on the hook for $250M for Silveo and Soraa and then, in 2015, without question, The News slipped into a report that the state funded $750M project was on schedule. $750M.
Today, without question, and with lots of cheer-leading they are reporting the $900M NYS funded project is on schedule…. $900M!
SolarCity is hemorrhaging money, its stock is down from $86 to $35 (down 60%), it has announced large layoffs and complete withdrawal from Nevada as its business model is found unworkable without government subsidies.
I have heard of gambling with high risk stakes but this is one for the books – Guinness would be challenged to find either a higher risk or higher stakes bet and it is our money that Cuomo is using for the bet.
Many political activists of both parties, particularly Republicans, find The Buffalo News’ lack of journalistic prowess disdainful in a city that has declined for 55 consecutive years. They see The News as being culpable for the unabated corruption that has squandered the community’s public resources for decades.
That publication’s unwillingness to assert a critical posture or ask probing questions has appalled much of the electorate.