Carl Paladino this morning posted on his Facebook site a letter to Empire State Development Chairman Dennis Mullen on Downtown Buffalo's future. The story of the failed government-dreamed-up projects to the west is remarkably similar to all the "economic development" nonsense we see here in Greater Utica (especially New Hartford) and Oneida County. Here are some excerpts:
It was during the UDAG (Urban Development Action Grant) era that it became very apparent that government interference in the private marketplace subsidizing specific projects for parasitic developers was a road to failure. No one could compete with government subsidized projects and the creation of an unlevel playing field destroyed many good and in some cases historic properties in downtown Buffalo.
Everyone just waited in line for a UDAG. There was no incentive for the private sector to develop. Since that time, the ridiculous use of selective subsidies in the office market has continued the blight of our urban centers. For decades IDA's and Empire State Development have subsidized projects for tenants not otherwise disposed to leave the State of New York, to relocate from the urban centers out to affluent suburbs. . . .
I submit to you that it is illegal under the State Constitution for the State of New York to loan or advance monies in any form to private firms. Article VII, Section 8, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution states: "the money of the State shall not be given or loaned to or in aid of any private corporation or association, or private undertaking; nor shall the credit of the State be given or loan to or in aid of any individual, or public or private corporation or association, or private undertaking, but the foregoing provision shall not apply to any fund or property now held or which may hereafter be held by the State for educational, mental health or mental retardation purposed." The Section goes on to provide exceptions to the general rule of banning gifts of State funds to private organizations, but none of the exceptions authorizes the gift of State fund for "economic development" whose gifts are made directly by the State or through intermediaries.
That is the law of the land.
Our politically corrupt State government and its "challenged" elected officials through its various agencies and authorities has violated the Constitution repeatedly over the years. . . .
Allowing one developer to have an advantage over other developers because of political connections is a violation of the law. [emphasis mine]
I could not say it better!