(TNS) — Hizzoner the hypocrite?
New York City Mayor de Blasio bragged this week about not enriching Amazon or Uber — even though the city and his political campaigns have showered millions on the controversial tech giants in recent years.
City agencies under de Blasio have put up at least $3.3 million for Amazon products and services since he took office in 2014, records show. His campaigns spent another $16,000 on both Amazon and Uber since his bid for City Hall in 2013.
But the self-righteous mayor still insisted he doesn’t help their bottom line.
“I have no desire to enrich them in any way, shape, or form,” de Blasio said of Amazon on NY1 Monday night. “And I will continue to live that way.”
De Blasio slammed Amazon for withdrawing plans to build a corporate campus in Long Island City. Amazon announced last week it will open a much smaller office in Hudson Yards, reigniting the debate over $3 billion in financial incentives that the city and state had offered as part of the original deal.
“They cheated the people of New York City,” de Blasio said.
Eleven city agencies and offices, as well as the City University of New York and the City Council, have purchased products from three Amazon entities since the start of 2014, according to the city comptroller’s office.
The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications spent $3 million, the most of any other agency, followed by $88,794 from the Department of Education and $78,301 from the Department of Transportation. The mayor’s office has spent $1,930 at Amazon.
De Blasio’s 2013 and 2017 campaigns also purchased office supplies from Amazon for a combined $13,288.
He still implored New Yorkers to “shop in their neighborhoods to the maximum extent possible” to support mom-and-pop stores despite “the convenience of Amazon.”
“If we’re going to be in this … trying to make change in the world, we got to think about our own buying power, we got to think about what we do as consumers,” de Blasio said. “The same with Uber — I will not participate with companies that I have seen with my own eyes how exploitative they can be and I am just not going to be a part of that.”
De Blasio’s failed 2020 presidential campaign doled out $1,499 for Uber rides during a six-month period between March and September of this year, filings show. And his 2013 campaign for mayor spent another $1,643 on Uber trips.
That didn’t stop de Blasio from capping most new licenses for for-hire vehicles like Uber last summer and limiting when they can cruise without passengers this year. Uber filed a lawsuit against the new cruising rules this fall, before they go into effect in February, and the litigation is still pending.
“While the mayor is lucky to have a private car take him across the city, millions of everyday New Yorkers — including the Mayor’s own campaign team — rely on Uber to share a ride, use a bike or connect to mass transit,” Uber spokesman Josh Gold said.
Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“This is a democracy, not a dictatorship,” de Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said. “The mayor chooses not to use Amazon or Uber, but he allows others to make that choice for themselves.”
De Blasio said in 2017 that his wife shops on Amazon.
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