Suffolk County Executive Candidate Jim O’Connor Calls for Suffolk IDA to Pull Deceptive and Politically Motivated Ad from Airwaves

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jim O’Connor, the Republican and Conservative candidate for Suffolk County Executive, delivered a letter to Anthony Catapano, Executive Director, Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), during the IDA’s September 24 meeting, requesting that the agency stop airing its commercials on local radio stations which he says are misleading and highly politicized.

The IDA spent $170,000 on its ad campaign which claims the agency saved more than 10,800 jobs over three years with a payroll of more than $550 million. Mr. O’Connor pointed out that Governor Cuomo was called out by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — a Democrat — after an audit found that the state spent $211 million promoting the Start-Up NY tax-free zones, “I Love NY” tourism and other programs but yielded no results. (See “Suffolk IDA to Spend $170,000 on Ads to Lure Businesses,” Newsday, James T. Madore, 5/14/15.)

“Your PSAs talk about how the IDA is ‘all about growing businesses and creating jobs in Suffolk County’ and repeat the lie that over 10,800 jobs were saved in Suffolk,” Mr. O’Connor said. “What the PSA does not say is that other major companies such as Forest Laboratories, Adecco and Voxx International have relocated off Suffolk County into other parts of the country with more favorable economic climates.”

Mr. O’Connor said the county should focus on creating real economic development. “Suffolk County should stop corporate cronyism, political patronage and backscratching,” he said. “That is why it is time you pull these PSAs that redefine the term ‘deceptive advertising.’”