« Stumbles aside, numerous numbers favor Rick Scott | Main | South Florida prepares for (legal) new cash crop: marijuana »

FL CFO Jeff Atwater blasts NY Gov. Cuomo as 'huckster' over ad campaign


Florida's top finance official, CFO Jeff Atwater, is accusing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of running a deceptive TV ad campaign designed to lure businesses to the Empire State.

“We know a huckster when we see one,” Atwater, who dashed off a letter about his concerns, told the New York Post about the Cuomo Administration's $113 million TV and radio "START-UP NY" ads in Florida and other states that promote New York's business climate and tourism.

Cuomo's office fired back, saying Atwater was misconstruing the incentives that the ad campaign is promoting.

"For a CFO, he must be pretty bad at math if he doesn’t understand that the zero in StartUp’s zero-tax zones means no state taxes for new businesses,” Cuomo spokesman Matthew Wing said in an email response.

In his July 18 letter, Atwater says the ads contain "glaring errors and misstatements" about New York as a place to work. And Atwater needles the number of New Yorkers who have moved to low-tax Florida, a job-creation leader. 

"These advertisements portray an image of New York that simply cannot be supported by facts, particularly in comparison with Florida,” writes Atwater, who is running for re-election this year and faces little-known Democrat William Rankin.

"The reality is that New York boasts the highest taxes in America, the highest costs of living in the country, and one of the worst business climates in the nation. Conversely, by every objective measure, Florida continues to be one of the best states in which to start a business and raise a family." 

This isn't the first time Cuomo has drawn the fire of an elected Republican from outside New York. In April, Texas Gov. Rick Perry visited New York in an effort to lure jobs to Texas and challenged Cuomo to a debate.

Cuomo declined the offer from the Republican, who plans to run for president in 2016.

"I don't think so," a grinning Cuomo said, according to USA today.

Download Atwater


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

ed jenkins

The citizens are thankful for these political leaders such as this Atwater and Scott who help maintain the environment that is friendly to business in this state, something which can withstand fraudulent claims from yankee "hucksters" who think they can fool businesses but have seen massive losses in business and population demonstrating the truth.

Can't take anymore

Didn't even know Atwater was still employed. Hadn't heard a squeak out of him since the last election. Did he latch onto a fuss with Cuomo as a campaign gimmick or just to show he's not in a coma?


I am NO FAN of Florida Republicans, but Atwater is trying to hold the insurance industry accountable. That is a big deal in this state. Florida has the 2nd highest premiums in the country, but there is no accountability out of Tallahassee. The insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, has been in office since 2003, and he is USELESS. Common sense tells you that the insurance industry is racking up record profits. Citizens has amassed $6 BILLION in reserves; that tells you that the other insurers are hiding their money. They too have amassed BILLIONS in profits.

Bill Thompson

Recently, a TV business news network released a study of America's top states to do business in. Florida ranked only 20th overall. Florida ranked 37th in cost of doing business in the state, 27th in infrastructure, 28th in quality of life, 35th in business friendliness, 38th in education and 31st in cost of living.

The scumbag Scott, this Atwater and other big talkers better get to work if they want Florida to do better than 20th.

The comments to this entry are closed.