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Fight Over 'Buffalo Billion' Point of Contention in Governor's Race

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - It appears that the first battle in the race for the Governor's mansion is being fought in Buffalo.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Rob Astorino has been somewhat outspoken about his opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo Billion initiative.

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Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino"The Buffalo Billion is just politicians making promises," Astorino said while in Buffalo last week.

"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?"

Filed Under :  
Locations : BuffaloNew YorkWestern New York
People : Andrew CuomoKathy HochulRob Astorino
05/28/2014 6:42AM
Fight Over 'Buffalo Billion' Point of Contention in Governor's Race
Please enter your comments below.
05/28/2014 7:32AM
The ultimate solution: throw money at it
Cuomo is trying to make Buffalo his ho. He's going to wine us and dine us and then just expect us to lay back and take it when he comes up with other measures like his NY Safe Act. He's gotten a lot of opposition from this area; now he's trying to buy our silence and co-operation.
05/28/2014 10:45AM
Do you believe any of these people?
None of them are telling us the truth. They all skew things one way or the other in an attempt to get elected or stay elected. Then we get to shell out more and more taxes to pay for all of it. The sad part is: the people of this state are so stupid or on the government dole for a lifetime that this is the only way it works here. Sad state of affairs.
05/28/2014 1:11PM
Thank you Governor Cuomo
If a politician can be defined by the caliber of his opposition, you're doing just fine.
05/28/2014 2:08PM
Same Stuff....
...different day. This state should be Utopia under the Democrats rule, according to them. Look around you. Nothing has changed nor will it. Go ahead, people. Keep voting for the lying, do nothing Democrats!!
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