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Kenneth Adams, the new head of the Empire State Development Corp., owes at least part of his success to Councilman David Yassky's failed run for higher office.

By Erik Engquist, Daniel Massey and Jeremy Smerd

January 30, 2011

Gov. Andrew Cuomo may not have appointed Kenneth Adams as head of the Empire State Development Corp. last week if former Brooklyn Heights Councilman David Yassky had been more successful in a run for higher office. Mr. Adams, who revitalized the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce over his 10-year tenure, had raised $47,186 by July 2005 and was poised to succeed Mr. Yassky...

The appointment met with skepticism from Coalition for Economic Justice Executive Director Allison Duwe, who said Mr. Adams “has lobbied heavily against reforms that would ensure high perform-ance, accountability and transparency in how New York spends its economic development dollars.”

BCNYS also clashed with the Partnership for New York City over the sunsetting of the much-maligned Empire Zone program. The partnership wanted to replace the program with something that guaranteed an investment return for the state; Mr. Adams sought to reform aid for economic development while preserving the benefits businesses had been promised.

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