Astorino: Cuomo “owes New Yorkers some answers” on START-UP ads


Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino on Monday continued his criticism of a state-funded advertising campaign, releasing a minute-long video questioning its return on investment.

Gannett’s Albany Bureau and other media outlets reported Friday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration spent $15.2 million on television ads touting START-UP NY, a program passed by the Legislature and signed by Cuomo last year that offers 10 years free of state taxes to businesses that locate in designated zones.

Astorino, who is seeking the Republican nod to challenge Cuomo, had been critical of the ads, highlighting the issue in his campaign-launch video earlier this month.

“Governor Cuomo owes New Yorkers some answers,” said in the video Monday. “Since January alone he has spent more than $15 million on those START-UP NY ads that you see day and night on New York TV and tens of millions of dollars before that. Yet Governor Cuomo refuses to give an account on any return on investment. How many businesses have been started up? How many jobs have been created? Any? He needs to answer these questions.”

While Astorino said the spending was since January, it was actually since Dec. 10, according to data provided by Empire State Development, the state’s economic development branch.

In a statement last week, and ESD spokesman defended the spending, which comes from a $150 million pot of funds flagged for marketing the state’s business climate and initiatives.

“The goal of START-UP NY – the game changing initiative passed with overwhelming bipartisan support last year – is to create new jobs, attract new businesses, and encourage current companies to expand, which is why we are investing the resources necessary to get the word out to companies in New York State and across the country,” said Jason Conwall, the spokesman.

Here’s Astorino’s video:


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  1. David S. Levine on

    All over the nation we see these ads about starting a business in New York and those of us who’ve fled know how false they are and that in the long run any business that stays in new York will have to pay more than necessary for labor, more than necessary in taxes and certainly more than necessary for energy. Like all Cuomo initiatives (by father and son) they ring hollow and the State of New York will do well to rid itself of them.

  2. August Braun on

    Mr. Levine hit the nail on the head. Cuomo is as bad as they get. Mr. Astorino can forget about King Andrew divulging how many businesses have inquired about relocating to this progressive hell hole of a state. Cuomo has a history of concealment. He refuses to divulge how many gun owners have registered their semi automatic rifles that resemble full auto military weapons. The reason is simple: he would be humiliated by the number as it is so low due to non compliance by NY gun owners. He is the worst governor this state has ever had bar none. His hair brained ideas about creating minimum wage jobs through his advocacy of wineries, yogurt factories, craft breweries, and casinos has but one goal in mind: to permanently impoverish upstate so his rich friends in NYC can continue buying cheap land upstate to build their lavish summer homes. High volume hydraulic fracturing would save upstate from this fate, hence his dithering and fear of Yoko Ono.

  3. August again!
    He wants to get rich leasing his land and skip out of New York before the aquifers and water supply is fracked up and effed up for all of the NYC and Westchester residents that use that drinking water system (about 11 million people who pay taxes and work all day by the way)

    August: you are a one note blogger. Just looking to get rich.