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State Race Interviews

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Questions to the Senate Disctrict 35 candidates:

  1. What will be your first specific priority as a state senator, if elected?
  2. What are examples of the kinds of policy you would sponsor to benefit small business in Southern Colorado?  
  3. What are the steps necessary to enhance, continue, and maintain the sustainability of family farming and ranching in Southern Colorado?
  4. Colorado is falling behind as a state in education and the school districts in your region have consistently failing schools. What is the path for improving education, and how if elected would you make real lasting change?
  5. In your opinion what are Southern Colorado’s most critical infrastructure needs?
  6. Do you support “deferred action for childhood arrivals” and “standard-rate” tuition for eligible Colorado residents? Explain why or why not.
  7. In light of the tragic shootings at Aurora and Columbine, under what circumstances should citizens be prohibited from carrying guns?
  8. What are your top three water priorities in Southern Colorado that need to be addressed, if you were elected?
  9. Do you think that a woman’s right to choose is her inalienable right?

 

Answers: Martinez 

1. My first  priority is to ensure that Southern Colorado has a strong, independent Senator who will work to preserve our rural communities, values, traditions and lifestyle.

2. Access to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet will provide small business the opportunity to compete effectively in a global economy.  I will support the improvement of our transportation systems so rural areas can more easily move goods to market.

3. Senate District 35 has an agriculture economy.  By expanding markets, protecting our water and making it easier for farmers and ranchers to do business, we can continue  the agricultural heritage that has sustained so many Southern Colorado families for more than a century.

We must fight to keep every drop of water that is in rural Colorado in rural Colorado!  Our state and our nation depend on the success of family farming and ranching, which is one of the largest contributors to our Colorado economy.  I will fight to ensure that our future generations will be able to continue farming and ranching and living the traditions of their families.

4. Regardless of what corner of Colorado our children live, they must have access to a world class 21st century education.  Funding ratios need to reflect the additional costs of educating children in rural areas.  Rural children must be given the same educational opportunities that urban students receive. Our future depends on the education of our next generation — when our children succeed we all succeed.

 

5. So often, rural communities are not prioritized for infrastructure improvement projects.  We must stand in line after the metro areas and hope that our rural roads, bridges, facilities, telecommunications, etc are funded.  Although our population isn’t as large as the metro area, our needs are just as important and deserve to be funded.  Infrastructure improvements aren’t just physical improvements, they are about public safety, emergency preparedness, education, healthcare, tourism, economy, job growth and every other component of a thriving community.

6. I support comprehensive immigration reform.

The President’s Executive Order is now underway that defers for two years the deportation for those arrived here as children, and who through no fault of their own do not have citizenship.  As part of this program, these kids must pursue a path that will make their immigration status legal.  I believe that we should give this program time to work and then evaluate its effectiveness.

7. There should be no additional controls on the purchase or ownership of firearms.

8. The most important priority is to honor Colorado’s prior appropriation doctrine.  The second priority is conservation.  We must learn to value this precious resource and use it wisely.  My third priority is the continued development of water storage facilities.

9. I believe that the difficult decision to end a pregnancy should be up to a woman, her family and her doctor.

 

Answers: Crowder

 

1. I would say the economy.  With between 8, 14, 19 percent unemployment, we need to find ways to get people back to work.  I’ll tell you right off the bat I am not interested in raising taxes on people who cannot afford them to start with, we need to get people back to work.  I think we have some regulations that we need to roll back.  For example, there is a lady in the district who opened up a clothing store, and through not only the federal but the state and county, the regulations before she could open the door was 7000 dollars.  Today she’s stuck in her store working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week by herself until she accumulates enough capital to hire somebody.  So it’s not only federal and state regulations, there is also the county and city.  But you need to realize that there are other entities out there that need to be, and I am not saying that I would force them or mandate them to lessen, but I think we get to the point now that the entire government structure is under recovery.

2. What we need to do is lessen the cost of starting a business.  I started my first business with a telephone and an idea, and you can’t do that anymore.  So by the time you get to the state and local and federal, you need to get a lawyer to find out what you have done.  We need to streamline the process.

3. I am a rancher myself.  To sustain that we need to is get the youth involved in agriculture.  Some of the conglomerate farmers are not interested in handing their farms down to their children, some have no children.  So what we have to do is get the youth involved and do it in such a way that we are promoting the farming lifestyle… I am not sure that education itself is directly involved in it… A lot of the farms are handed down to the children, which is great, but as farms and ranches continue to grow, the youth tend to want to move to the city, argucilture shrinks and ownerships shrinks.

4. What we need to is instill a drive into the students.  It’s really easy to put the blame on the educators or the education system.  But the reality is that it is all of us.  It is the students, it’s the parents, and it’s the teachers.  I am not sure that there is one thing you can do that I could think of that is specific.  You can say test scores.  Well test, well at some point it is somewhat misleading to say, because there is so much more to it than just test scores.  If you think back to your education, everybody has a favorite teacher, and once you have that favorite teacher, you excel.  So, I think that the biggest factor in education is a lack of role models.  I think we need to instill pride and they [students] will want to excel.  Until we get to that point, I am not sure that there is any one thing.  You know we try to fund them and finance them the best we can, but beyond that I am not sure that there is a way to.

5. I am all in favor of having an index for transportation.  But I think it needs to be equitable.  I think Southern Colorado needs their share.  I do not think all of the road building needs to be in Aspen or Vail.  Right now Highway 287, which runs north and south out of Springfield, is in good shape.  Highway 50 is in decent shape, but Highway 160 from Trinidad to Springfield is in terrible shape.  I mean there is not a lot of population out there but we still need the roads for our economy.  You have to realize not all of our goods are shipped by rail so therefore our highways are critical; they are directly connected to our education system, our economy, our daily lives.

6. I would like to talk to you about the tuition rate.  I was basically opposed to a different rate for tuition.  And, what we are talking about is kids who went through our education system and they basically were being charged out of state tuition.  Well the thing about it, see I am also a veteran service officer and I know there is an alternative.  The problem with the tuition as we know it is that the student who went through the system does not have basic funding avenues for him when he gets to college.  He can go through four years of college and get a degree, but still he’s illegal.  So since I have worked with the veterans and see that they have that path to citizenship, and also the ability to receive financial aid.  So the individual does three or four years [in the military] and when they got out they had what they call their military discharge, then that was their path to citizenship.  And they are also helped with their tuition, financially.  And in my opinion, that is a far better way to go, not so much for the tax payer, but for that individual.  And I am not trying to promote people going into the military, but it is an option we should look at… And what we are looking at is about 500 young graduates, not thousands.

7. Well I have to go back to, I am a veteran service officer, and in the VA system, if you are deemed incompetent you cannot own a firearm or if you are a felon.  And those are the only situations [a person should be prohibited from carrying a firearm].  The Aurora shooting was a cowardly act but you have to realize he [the shooter] had contact with a psychiatrist who should have alerted somebody, that should have been enough to thwart any kind of issue.  But the guy sat on it, so I do not believe that other than those circumstances you should be not allowed to carry a gun.  If we did not, you know the reality is if we did not have a government that is considered tyrannical we would not have this issue.  I do not believe that one person’s actions should affect the entire nation.

8. I am supportive of the super-ditch, but as far as priorities, there has been talk of expanding reservoir capacity, which is a great idea, but the thing about it is the extra billions went down to john martin, I was down there and it looks to me like he was 35 to 40 feet down. Exactly what that means, I do not know, I don’t know if it’s half or what but it’s 35 feet down. Pueblo reservoir has lost a lot, too. The estimation now is that they have two years of water supply in Pueblo reservoir. So, if some things don’t, the Arkansas Valley is…  So we can have the vision of future storage, but that is decades away

9. To be honest with you, I have been able to think about this and what I believe is I will side with your mother.  Inalienable right to me is god given right.  Everything we do should have dignity and abortion is a serious issue.  But whatever we do should have some pride in it, should have some dignity.  I am pro-life.  But I don’t see abortion going away.  So I urge people to be responsible in their actions that way we would not have this discussion.  But I am not going to condemn anyone.

 

Questions for the Colorado House District 47 Candidates:

1.   What will be your first specific priority as a state representative, if elected?

2.   What are examples of the kinds of policy you would sponsor to benefit small business in Southern Colorado?

3.   What are the steps necessary to enhance, continue, and maintain the sustainability of family farming and ranching in Southern Colorado?

4. Colorado is falling behind as a state in education and the school districts in your region have

consistently failing schools. What is the path for improving education, and how if elected, would

you make real lasting change?

5. In your opinion what are Southern Colorado’s most critical infrastructure needs?

6. Do you support “deferred action for childhood arrivals” and “standard-rate” tuition for eligible Colorado residents? Explain why or why not.

7. In light of the tragic shootings at Aurora and Columbine, under what circumstances should

citizens be prohibited from carrying guns?

8. What are your top three water priorities in Southern Colorado that need to be addressed, if you were elected?

9. Do you think that a woman’s right to choose is her inalienable right?

Answers: Rodosevich

1. My first priority will be to strengthen our region’s economy. I will work to get our fair share of funding for infrastructure projects and support the pillars of our economy: small businesses, healthcare workers, agriculture, and the renewable energy industry. I will also fight for the HIRE Colorado Plan, which gives Colorado companies the first crack at state contracts. This program will create Southern Colorado jobs while investing in transportation and water infrastructure, putting our tax dollars to work on projects that will benefit our region.

2. As State Representative, I will sponsor legislation to give tax breaks to small businesses that are starting up or trying to expand. This would not only ease the burden on these local companies while they get their feet on the ground, but it would also encourage entrepreneurs to invest in their ideas and get started. Small businesses are the backbone of our region, and these policies will help strengthen our economy and create jobs right here in Southern Colorado.

3. As a rancher myself, I know that the most pressing issue for farmers and ranchers in Southern Colorado right now is water. This summer’s drought really highlighted the importance of improving water storage systems in our region, to ensure that we can sustain our agriculture during dry seasons. We need to fight to protect our water and invest in solutions to manage it more effectively.

4. Colorado is 47th in the nation in terms of funding for education, which shows that we desperately need to rearrange our priorities. We should be investing in our children’s futures by putting funding directly in the classrooms, decreasing class sizes and focusing on early childhood education programs to give kids a strong foundation at a young age. I will fight for our fair share of education funding, so that local schools are receiving the same amount as schools in the Denver metro area and have access to the same technology that our kids will need to succeed in their careers.

5.Southern Colorado needs major infrastructure improvements in the areas of transportation and water. As I discussed in a previous question, we desperately need to improve water storage systems to help sustain our agriculture during dry seasons. Also, an improved transportation system in Southern Colorado will allow local businesses (especially in agriculture) to expand their reach, and will generally stimulate our regional economy. These infrastructure improvements are critical to our region’s success, and I will fight to make them a top priority at the legislature.

6. I believe that all Colorado kids deserve a fair shot at the American Dream. When students work hard to achieve in their studies, they should have the opportunity to pursue higher education and gain the tools to succeed in their chosen career. Immigration is largely a federal issue, but we should be supporting children’s education regardless of their parents’ actions so that Colorado kids can grow up to be successful contributors to our society and economy.

7. I am a fourth generation Colorado rancher, and hunting with my kids is a family tradition. I support our 2nd Amendment rights, and as State Representative I will protect gun ownership as part of our Southern Colorado heritage.

8. First, we should invest in water storage systems in our region to ensure access during droughts. We also need to improve water quality in rural areas; for example, some small towns in Otero County don’t have drinkable tap water. Many of these projects have been backlogged in the legislature, and I will make it a priority to get them funded and in action. Last but not least, I will fight to protect our region’s water and make sure that it doesn’t get sent to Colorado Springs and Denver. Our water should stay here, supporting our agriculture and our way of life.

9. I believe that women deserve the right to make private medical decisions with their doctor, without government getting in the way. I am a supporter of individual rights, including gun ownership and private property rights, and I feel that this is another area where the government should not interfere.

Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff did not respond to PULP’s questions. 

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Middle schoolers have a plan to stop rock art tagging in Western Colorado

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Courtesy gjhikes.com

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Arron Buehler’s day in a western Colorado canyon might not have had the Hollywood panache of Ferris Bueller’s day off, but something about seeing Buehler’s name scrawled on the sandstone escarpment gave Chris Joyner pause.

Joyner, spokesman for the Grand Junction Office of the Bureau of Land Management, looked at Buehler’s name — and those of many others emblazoned on rock in a canyon south of Grand Junction — and said that, paradoxically, there might be a reason for hope.

It was just last year that Buehler posted his name, next to Elizabeth, who left her mark in 2017.

Few of the names appeared to be more than a year or two old, and, “That tells me there’s opportunity here,” Joyner said.

The more recent the markings, the more likely the vandals are to be found, and the more likely it is that other methods might discourage younger people from following Arron Buehler’s lead, Joyner said.

Joyner and BLM archaeologist Alissa Leavitt-Reynolds are working in Grand Junction to deal with vandalism on federal lands, whether it be by graffiti artists such as Charley Humpy (who helpfully added, “Remember me” next to his name and yes, the BLM is doing all it can to achieve total recall), drug users ditching evidence in the desert, mayhem by “marksmen” and plain old dumping.

As much as Arron Buehler and a multitude of companions — Brian, Charley, Dizz, Dominique, Kay, Megan, Elizabeth, Jon, Sam and Tosha all seem to be begging for court dates (and Tosha, did you know your name covered an ancient petroglyph?) — Joyner said prosecution ought not be the only response to a growing trend of vandalism and worse on western Colorado’s rocky outcrops and arid landscapes.

Citations for vandalism aren’t tracked by the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes offenses on federal land, so no precise numbers are available.

An Army veteran, Joyner is using his post 9/11 GI Bill funds at Johns-Hopkins University to study ways to divert people from what he terms “dysfunctional visitor behavior.”

“Dysfunctional visitor behavior” has a more authoritative ring than “vandalism” and “littering” and Joyner said he hopes that a scholarly approach can help agencies fend off some of the destructive activity on federal lands before it takes place.

Some of his research suggests that “informed participation in nearby historic and cultural sites” can influence the way many residents perceive those sites, Joyner said.

The students in Ginger DeCavitch’s social studies classes at Mount Garfield Middle School experienced “informed participation” last summer.

DeCavitch took her students into Bangs Canyon to see the mica mine and found the defaced escarpment “as we were stepping over broken beer bottles and charcoal” from fires.

Vandals had used charcoal to scratch names and slogans on the rock, DeCavitch said.

“They call it tagging” and few participants see any issue with defacing the rock, taking selfies and posting them on social media, DeCavitch said.

She contacted the BLM soon afterward to see if her class could help clean up the mess they found.

“They all wanted to go back,” enough that some students hauled 40-pound containers of water down an occasionally difficult trail to help clean the site, DeCavitch said.

Her middle school students sat silent as members of the Southern Ute tribe described how they perceived the canyon and the ancient markings, many of which had been defaced, DeCavitch said.

Far from being discouraged, her students were enthused about tackling the enormity of the defacement, DeCavitch said.

“We have a plan that we’ll be back,” she said.

Introducing young people properly to wild lands is one way to discourage future vandals and dysfunctional visitors.

It’s one “foot-in-the-door” tactic that Joyner hopes land managers take up.

Visitors also can be endowed with a sense of ownership by agreeing with a simple proposition — the idea that one ought not litter on public lands, for instance — and then be brought along to agree with how to visit them appropriately, Joyner said.

It’s part of a human tendency to want to be consistent, he said. People who agree not to litter tend to want to build on that as opposed to act in contradictory fashion, he said.

Even providing a small gift or trinket can engender a sense of responsibility among potential vandals, Joyner said.

Other techniques include the “broken-window” approach — the idea that replacing broken glass as soon as it’s found and thus denying miscreants their moment of victory — isn’t as easy as it might be in other environments, Joyner said.

DeCavitch’s class, for instance, learned that while cleaning up a mess might eliminate an eyesore, it also could erase history.

Her eager middle-schoolers couldn’t go forward with the cleanup until members of the Southern Ute Tribe, headquartered in Duchesne, Utah, approved the plan, DeCavitch said.

While Joyner’s studies have suggested that males 16 to 25 who live within 60 miles of Grand Junction are the likely offenders, one look at the escarpment suggests that young women are more active participants than crime statistics might suggest, Joyner said.

One study suggests that younger people prefer non-coercive approaches, but Joyner said that doesn’t mean the BLM is losing interest in prosecuting vandals and others.

Far from it.

BLM officials routinely contact school officials and consult high school yearbooks to match the names they come across with people who could be prosecuted.

Some miscreants make it easier, posting selfies of themselves with their works. Some even lower the level of difficulty by including hashtags.

The criminal exposure can reach felony levels because of the difficulty and expense of dealing with cleaning up or restoring the markings that date back hundreds of years.

If the malefactors are found, Joyner said, “We don’t write warning tickets.”

___

Information from: The Daily Sentinel, http://www.gjsentinel.com

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The #WhatNow of #MeToo for the #COLeg

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AP Photo/David Zalubowski

When several lawmakers, lobbyists and staff at the state Legislature came forward this fall to allege they were victims of sexual harassment by lawmakers, two big questions followed: how often does this happen? What can be done to prevent more cases?

Reporters have asked state officials the first question repeatedly, returning to readers with little response from the state. The latter prompted a conversation from leadership, but as for what’s next—how the allegations, formal complaints, and legislature’s response—will impact politics under the gold dome and whether women will feel any safer is to be determined.

So far, top state lawmakers have decided to hire a human resources officer—who would be independent from the legislature—to be a contact person when incidents involving sexual harassment are brought forward. Now, leadership is tasked with handling and investigating such claims.

The group also decided to hire an independent consultant to review the legislature’s sexual harassment policy, and lawmakers, staff, and aides will undergo another round of sexual harassment training this year. Typically, those working at the Legislature are only required to go through training every two years.

Those changes are a good start, said Erin Hottenstein, executive director of Colorado 50/50, an organization that aims to get more women in public office. But the legislature stopped short of changing any current policies. And Colorado 50/50 called for an entire overhaul.

“I’m very pleased that there was a recognition that the policy needs to be improved,” Hottenstein said.

But there weren’t any specific recommendations regarding transparency, which Hottenstein said is significant in looking at what happens next.

Lawmakers and staff said they couldn’t disclose how many sexual harassment claims that leadership in each chamber have received because they were personnel issues.

“I think there’s a way to be transparent and safe,” Hottenstein said. “There should be a high- level summary document that shows on a certain date a sexual harassment complaint was made and who it was against and a date of a deposition and what the result was.”

Hottenstein said transparency becomes crucial in these cases because it leads to accountability and the public’s right to know what actions the people elected to office are taking.

In October, Pueblo Rep. Daneya Esgar broke her silence posting on Facebook that she was no stranger to sexual harassment and experienced it just a week earlier with a colleague she works with regularly as a lawmaker. The post was part of the #MeToo movement after a New York Times expose highlighted the stories of several women who said they’d been sexually harassed or assaulted by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Then, a flood of other allegations were brought to the surface in Colorado politics. Rep. Faith Winter said fellow House member Steve Lebsock had harassed her at a legislative party in 2016. Winter and a lobbyist say they filed formal complaints against Lebsock.

An intern said Sen. Randy Baumgardner harassed her with sexually suggestive comments. The same went for Sen. Jack Tate of Centennial, who was accused of telling an intern that if she wanted to get ahead in her career, he could help.

Rep. Paul Rosenthal, who is openly gay, allegedly groped a man and used his seat to try and get a date with another.

But the case between Lebsock and Winter gained the most attention, even prompting Lebsock to take a polygraph test, which the administrator says he passed, to prove his innocence. Lebsock has hinted that the entire incident may be a case of dirty politics, alleging that Winter is the one lying.

When several lawmakers were asked if the case would mean a splintered Democratic party in the House, they were unsure, but optimistic about the session.

Still, there haven’t been any resignations over the allegations, though several, including leadership and editorial boards from across the state, said these legislators should step down from their seat. Some even called for House Speaker Crisanta Duran to step down from her position because she promoted Lebsock to a chairmanship despite knowing there was an incident between him and Winter.

The transparency piece has yet to be addressed by state lawmakers, and it’s unclear whether any policy or legislative changes will address that in the coming months. But for what it’s worth, the women who have broken their silence about sexual harassment in the Legislature are supportive of the changes leadership has discussed.

“I’m encouraged to see the direction leadership is taking when it comes to developing new and independent methods of dealing with complaints of sexual harassment at the Capitol,” said Esgar, who still hasn’t named the colleague she said grabbed her thigh at a legislative event earlier this year. “I’m hopeful that new ideas are still being formulated and considered, when it comes to ways to change the culture itself.”

The lawmaker added that a new session will certainly mean new ideas will come to light, “it’s our responsibility to lead the state in changing cultures to help make work environments safe and productive for all employees on every level.”

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20 cities primed on the Amazon wishlist to be its next HQ

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NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon’s second home could be in an already tech-heavy city, such as Boston, New York or Austin, Texas. Or it could be in the Midwest, say, Indianapolis or Columbus, Ohio. Or the company could go outside the U.S. altogether and set up shop in Toronto.

Those six locations, as well as 14 others, made it onto Amazon’s not-so-short shortlist Thursday of places under consideration for the online retailing giant’s second headquarters.

The 20 picks, narrowed down from 238 proposals, are concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest and include several of the biggest metro areas in the country, such as Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles, the only West Coast city on the list.

The Seattle-based company set off fierce competition last fall when it announced that it was looking for a second home, promising 50,000 jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion. Many cities drew up elaborate presentations that included rich financial incentives.

The list of finalists highlights a key challenge facing the U.S. economy: Jobs and economic growth are increasingly concentrated in a few large metro areas, mostly on the East and West Coasts and a few places in between, such as Texas.

Nearly all the cities on Amazon’s list already have growing economies, low unemployment and highly educated populations.

“Amazon has picked a bunch of winners,” said Richard Florida, an economic development expert and professor at the University of Toronto who helped develop that city’s bid. “It really reflects winner-take-all urbanism.”

Among those that didn’t make the cut were Detroit, a disappointment for those excited about progress since the city came out of bankruptcy, and Memphis, Tennessee, where the mayor said the city gave it its “best shot.” San Diego also failed to advance.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough,” said Holly Sullivan, who oversees Amazon’s public policy. “All the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity.”

Amazon said it will make a final selection sometime this year.

Besides Austin, another Texas city made the cut: Dallas. In the South, Miami and Atlanta are being considered.

Officials in cities that made the shortlist took the opportunity to further tout their locations, with Philadelphia’s mayor noting “all that Philadelphia has to offer” and officials in and around Pittsburgh citing the region’s “world-class talent pool” and other advantages.

Other contenders among the 20 include Denver; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; Northern Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

“It’s a long list for a shortlist,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at job site Indeed.

He said Amazon may use the list to pit the locations against each other and get better tax breaks or other incentives. Two metro areas, New York and Washington, have more than one location on the list, increasing the competition there, he said.

“It’s hard to say whether all these places are in play or Amazon wanted to encourage continued competition,” Kolko said.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether locations would be able to change their proposals or offer better incentives, but said in a statement that it will “work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals.”

State and local governments played up the amenities they think make their locations the best choice. Some pulled off stunts to stand out, such as New York, which lit the Empire State Building in Amazon orange.

Some gimmicks didn’t work: Tucson, Arizona, which sent a 21-foot cactus to Seattle, did not make the list. Neither did Birmingham, Alabama, which installed giant replicas of Amazon’s Dash buttons.

The company had stipulated that it wanted to be near a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, and nearly all of those on the shortlist have a metro population of at least double that.

Amazon also wanted to be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand the headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

But Amazon also made it very clear it wanted tax breaks, grants and any other incentives.

Boston’s offer includes $75 million for affordable housing for Amazon employees and others. Before leaving office Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie approved a measure to allow New Jersey to offer up to $5 billion to Amazon. Newark is also proposing $2 billion in tax breaks.

But many of the state and local governments competing for the headquarters have refused to disclose the financial incentives they offered. Of the 20 finalists, 13, including New York, Chicago and Miami, declined requests from The Associated Press to release their applications. Toronto’s mayor said Thursday that the city offered no financial incentives to woo Amazon.

Several said they don’t want their competitors to know what they’re offering, a stance that open-government advocates criticized.

Amazon plans to remain in its sprawling Seattle headquarters, and the second home base will be “a full equal” to it, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said.

The extra space will give the rapidly growing company room to spread out. It had nearly 542,000 employees at the end of September, a 77 percent jump from the year before. Some of that growth came from Amazon’s nearly $14 billion acquisition last year of the Whole Foods grocery chain and its 89,000 employees.

____

Associated Press writers Josh Cornfield in Philadelphia, Matt O’Brien in Providence, Rhode Island, and Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report. Rugaber contributed from Washington.

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