Amazon's New York HQ2 debacle included 'burn book' on project's detractors

Amazon went full "Mean Girls."

During the e-commerce giant's tumultuous HQ2 push in New York, Amazon kept a burn book that catalogued the insults and criticism being lobbed in its direction.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which viewed a copy of the private dossier, there were entries for a half-dozen politicians and officials who had become a drag on the company's ambitious plan to bring a massive campus and 25,000 high-paying jobs to the Long Island City waterfront in exchange for $3 billion in subsidies.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Democrat whose district included the planned second headquarters, had a burn book entry.

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“We were not elected to serve as Amazon drones,” Mr. Gianaris wrote in a joint statement sent with City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer before the deal was even officially announced. That went in the book, according to The Journal.

Protesters attend a New York City Council Finance Committee hearing titled 'Amazon HQ2 Stage 2: Does the Amazon Deal Deliver for New York City Residents?' at City Hall back in late January. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Protesters attend a New York City Council Finance Committee hearing titled 'Amazon HQ2 Stage 2: Does the Amazon Deal Deliver for New York City Residents?' at City Hall back in late January. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Gianaris was later appointed to the Public Authorities Control Board, a position that essentially gave him veto power over some of the subsidies Amazon was set to receive in the deal.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gianaris responded to the Journal's story about the burn book in a tweet quoting "Mean Girls."

Meanwhile, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, had his own section in the dossier. The Journal reported on a notation that mentioned a speech he'd given to union members in January. In the speech, he said, “It’s a cold day in New York, but not as cold as Jeff Bezos’ heart.”

The Seattle tech giant, facing a broader backlash from activists, some local politicians and labor unions, ultimately decided to break up with New York on Valentine's Day, with its public affairs chief delivering the news in a phone call to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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An Amazon spokesperson provided Fox News with the following statement via email on Wednesday night:

“This document was a briefing paper that had public statements about the project to help executives prepare for the next city council hearing, and to call it anything more is a gross exaggeration.”