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December 10, 2010

The editorial that hasn't (yet) appeared: "Shame on you, Marty Markowitz, promoting Atlantic Yards in China as if there's no opposition"

Atlantic Yards Report

Markowitz in October backed out of a plan to take a privately-funded trip to China to support Forest City Ratner's effort to get a no-interest loan from Chinese millionaires interested in trading purportedly job-creating investments for green cards.

Still, he did his best to support the project--which could save the developer at least $191 million while delivering questionable public benefits--from afar.

Markowitz appeared several times in a video aimed to convince potential investors that this distant, hard-to-grasp project was a valid one, likely to bring green cards and ensure the return of their capital.

"All I can say, Brooklyn is 1000 percent, 1000 percent behind Atlantic Yards, and we invite Chinese investors to join with us, because there's nothing better than China and Brooklyn together," the Borough President declared.

His statement is laughable. First, there's no way Brooklyn is "1000 percent behind Atlantic Yards," and Markowitz knows that. The borough is divided, and many people are indifferent.

Moreover, clownish lines like "there's nothing better than China and Brooklyn together" simply distract potential investors from looking closely.

His statement is also grimly disturbing. Markowitz was elected to fulfill a public trust, not to boost the borough's most powerful developer.

Markowitz has every right to support Atlantic Yards and to devote some of his office's resources to that end.

He doesn't have the right to lie, here or overseas, regarding Atlantic Yards.

And he should have the sense to recognize that Forest City Ratner's plan to raise money from immigrant investors tests the spirit if not the letter of federal immigration law.

Shame on you, Marty.

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Posted by eric at December 10, 2010 11:02 AM