Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Rob Astorino has been somewhat outspoken about his opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo Billion initiative.
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"People should take the money, there's no question, but what about the Rochester Billion, or the Syracuse Billion, or the Binghamton Billion? Nobody would say that that's sustainable, and it's not. Has it shown some success, yes, and I'm glad, because I want Buffalo to be the best it can be."
The comments have his opponents ready to pounce.
"Not a good move," said Cuomo's running mate, Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul. "You're basically saying 'I happen to like abandoned brownfields with weeds growing in them, I like the old chained fence, I like the broken glass, I'd like to go backwards...' He would have left us in the state that we were in before the Governor came to town."
But Astorino insists that the 'Buffalo Billion' is the wrong way to bring life back to Western New York.
"The bottom line is, a good economy will bring back people, will keep our people. That's when you'll have a vibrant Buffalo again. This is sort of a band-aid approach. Attention needs to be placed on Western New York, there is no question about it.
To that last point, Cuomo agrees.
"Why a billion dollars? Because part of Western New York's problem is it was short-changed by the state for many, many, many years," Cuomo said during a campaign even in Amherst last week.
Cuomo's opponent maintains that his attacks on the Buffalo Billion are not an attack on Buffalo, but rather on the Governor's approach to rebuilding.
"This was once a booming city, it can and should be again," Astorino told WBEN. "But you can build a 50-story building at Canalside, and if nobody can afford to live here in Western New York because of the high taxes, if businesses can't succeed because of the regulations, those buildings won't be filled."
"The highest taxes, the worst economic outlook, none of that is going to change with the Buffalo Billion. It's still going to be there, which means people are still going to leave, we're still going to have the highest taxes, and we still haven't fixed the problem."
Both Cuomo and Hochul disagree, and believe that the majority of Western New York won't be warm to his attacks on the Buffalo Billion either.
"We've got an amazing Governor, we've got a record to run on, and we've got opponents who are going to continue to say things that aren't exactly going to endear themselves to Western New York," Hochul said. "Does anybody smell success here?"