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March 22, 1996

NEW YORK DEMOCRATS OPPOSE IBM PROPERTY PLAN

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp finds itself in the center of a political row in its home state after Comptroller Carl McCall refused to sign contracts to move thousands of state jobs to vacant IBM buildings in Kingston and near Binghamton, New York (CI No 2,876). In his letter to Republican Governor George Pataki, Democrat McCall says he objects to the plan from both a public policy and a legal standpoint, in particular that the $50m lease-purchase deal would not be put before the state Legislature for approval, and that it violates state competitive bidding statutes. According to the Associated Press, Democrats in the state Assembly oppose the plan because they see it as Pataki’s way of rewarding areas that voted for him in 1994 by taking away jobs from New York City and Albany, areas that voted for Democrat Mario Cuomo. The empty IBM facilities do provide a good potential vehicle for economic development, McCall said, and I urge you to reach out to the Legislature with a viable and fiscally prudent plan for the state to purchase these sites and aggressively seek private-sector tenants, he wrote to the Governor. The deal may still go through because Republican state Attorney General Dennis Vacco has opined that the agreement could be done without lawmakers’ approval.

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