#ncga: Sooooo, was the Volvo loss about CASH or about PORTS?

legisIf you listen to House speaker Tim Moore or Commerce Secretary John Skvarla, North Carolina lost a shot at a new Volvo plant because it could not offer enough economic incentives (cash, tax breaks, etc.) to the car company.  We reported earlier that — based on reports in other media outlets — Volvo cited a good location near a port as key to their decision.  North Carolina was pitching a site in Rocky Mount which, the last time I checked, isn’t nor never was near a seaport of any kind. 

Now, here comes Onslow County state Rep. Phil Shepard (R) with another slightly different spin on the episode:

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I bet the port in Rocky Mount is in pretty rough shape.  I bet you can hardly tell it’s there. 

So, we’ve got another issue with the condition of our state ports.  Let’s keep this whole discussion in mind for the next time folks come down to Jones Street with hat in hand, seeking more bait-cash for economic development.

11 thoughts on “#ncga: Sooooo, was the Volvo loss about CASH or about PORTS?

  1. You are correct that Rocky Mount has never been a port, but Commerce’s Kingsboro site is in Edgecombe County, and its county seat, Tarboro, was once a port. However, if the Department of Commerce is basing their plan on that, then their information is just a bit out of date. Tarboro was once the end port of steamboat service up the Tar River in the 19th century but that never resumed after the War Between the States. Today, low bridges from Greenville on upriver would make resumption next to impossible and would require many bridge replacements.

    The Department of Commerce should have been pitching Wilmington.

    1. How about we throw up the old North Carolina salute to varmit pirates trying to steal from us. You know, the right fist in left elbow, hold high left arm with the one finger salute! Scaaa-reww you thieves, turn your tricks in another state.

  2. Class is in session – There will be a Test.

    Business Incentives:

    Class, rarely does anyone check the validity of justification behind these business incentives requests. Anyone who questions, remember the infamous line from public official Tommy Tucker a Republican and a state Senator from Union County? “I am the Senator, you are the citizen, you need to sit down and be quiet!”
    While the public official was not responding to a business incentives issue, you can understand the politician’s disdain for the public.

    (With an attitude like that the public should adopt the phrase — Little Tommy Tucker, you’re a mother F{{BEEEEP}}R)

    So now we have in the words of Speaker Tim Moore,the Republicans need more public money to laundry to corporate special interests, and a little more corporate coke to lure in business executives to get their fix. To cut through the political code talk what the Speaker is really saying is this: “Damn Hop-Sing I asked for heavy $tarch in this laundried $hirt, I need more $$$tarch to go with my laundry” is basically the message that the Speaker is sending us here.

    In summation here’s an incentives deal that no one questioned. Pay careful attention there will be a test concluding a review of reading material below in addition to your normal Daily Haymaker daily reading regime.

    COMPANY SAYS THEY WERE COURTED BY MULTIPLE STATES OFFERING INCENTIVES. North Carolina writes blank check worth up to $4 million of value to company to relocate to to the Tar Heel State. Investigative reporting later finds out the company already had declared it’s headquarters in North Carolina and no other state had competed for the said company to relocate to their beloved state.

    Obvious theory behind the request: My company has been in North Carolina for a while, I am going to seek incentives to relocate here………………..

    When the scene was brushed for fingerprints here’s what bubbled to the top:

    RALEIGH — When Harris Microwave Communications Division President Guy Campbell announced Thursday that his company will relocate its headquarters from Northern California to Durham, he said North Carolina’s offer of incentives won out over Florida and Texas in a “competitive” process.

    But while North Carolina offered a package of up to $4 million in withholding-tax rebates to Harris, it turns out that Florida and Texas decided to forfeit instead of play the incentives game.

    “We have no record of any inquiry (about incentives) from a company with that name,” said Kathy Walt, a spokeswoman for Texas….who handles all inquiries about state economic development programs.

    …..said Kim Prunty, communications director for Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency. “We handle all applications for state incentives, so there must have not been a package put together.”

    The state Economic Investment Committee awarded the grant June 3. Long before then, however, the company had identified its location in Durham as its corporate headquarters. Under the statute that created the program, incentives may be granted only to businesses that otherwise would not relocate to the state.

    Read More before taking the test below:

    http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=1588

    Test

    1.) Do corporate raiders seeking to take money from the public and divert funds that would fund core functions of government seek to participate in the scandal with only one political party or the other? Yes/No, Please explain your answer.

    2.) Is it legal to accept business incentives to relocate to the state when the business has already relocated to the state? Yes or No.

    3.) Is it considered aiding and abetting in the act of a crime if private entities such as a chamber of commerce collaborate with public officials to assist a company to obtain incentives under false pretenses? Is there a statue of limitations on said activity? Yes or No, Please explain.

    4.) Who is more guilty of committing a crime if found to have participated in obtaining incentives under false pretenses? The corporate raider, the chamber of commerce, or the public official who willfully participated? Please explain.

    Extra Credit

    3.) Are there other incidences where public officials have awarded companies incentives to relocate to North Carolina when the company has already relocated to the state or when, in fact, no other state competed for the company to relocate to their state? Yes or No, Please cite other incidences.

    4.) According to the reading material found at the link above was there ever a follow up and oversight as to whether Harris Microwave created the number of jobs that they were required to create according to state statute? Are there other incidences where companies have not created the number of jobs promised, who were “lured” to the state? Yes or No, Please explain.

    1. Answer to #3 for extra credit. Yes, the answer is a most definite yes. The test is too easy. I followed the link above, then it led me to many of the answers. Like this:

      …..As the law was developed, Ernst & Young also advised Time Warner Inc. on how to extract incentives from the department, essentially working both ends of the issue.

      The Charlotte Observer reported that Time Warner’s project depended on legislative approval of the program and that the company could reap as much as $55 million in incentives.

      Media scrutiny, and an admission by a Time Warner official that the company had already decided to come to Charlotte, apparently thwarted the deal to get incentives. However, the company announced in March 2004 that it would expand in Charlotte, adding 350 new jobs. Time Warner could receive up to $4.2 million in incentives related to the expansion.

      Source: http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=1553

      Then found this:

      On Milking A State’s “Cash Cow”

      Ernst & Young advises businesses on how to maximize subsidies from state governments. They made a presentation to other corporate raiders. The presentation was titled how to “Turn Your State Government Relations Department from a Money Pit into a Cash Cow.”

      http://www.johnlocke.org/articles/display_story.html?id=1554

  3. Steamboat Willie could’ve gotten his tug up the creek to deliver the rides.

  4. They always call it “luring” companies with public money and resources that could have gone to pay teachers and fix roads. So if they are using “pork bait lures” to get the company to come here why are we always the the ones feeling the pain and “on the HOOK” to bail them out when they fail and bail?

  5. Car companies and incentives.

    I remember sitting in the Kinston Rotary Club during the early 1990’s when the glories of the Global Transpark were being explained. Those car companies were not looking a port but a runway.

    The way the UNC-system economist explained it: A person walks into a car showroom in Los Angeles on Monday. He wants a black car which is not on the lot. So the salesman sends a fax to the car company at the Global Transpark. (Please note that this was the early 1990’s and the fax was the hot set up at the time. We had 3 in Kinston as I recall.) Anyway, they get the fax and build the guy’s car overnight. Then fly the car to him the next day!

    That was the way it was explained to us and I got to tell you we were excited. However, it never came to pass.

    How much do you think it would cost to fly a car, one-way mind you, to Los Angeles from NC? Even with airline miles and several overnight stays in a motel parking lot I figure it will still be thousands of dollars.

    The GTP never got that car manufacturer but did get Spirit Aero after a measley $240,000,000 incentive package.

    College kids today need to learn to dream up big ideas that would get them millions and millions in state incentives.

    Note: The guy really did come and really did say that the GTP automaker would custom build the car overnight and fly it out the next day. Really and truly. And we did eat it up, hook and all.

    We were also going to fly hogs to China and strawberries to France. The hog deal fell through when the airline stewardesses refused to serve the hogs more than one bag of peanuts.

  6. McCrory’s Department of Archives and History just decided to erect a historical marker honoring the Communist Workers Party in Greensboro. Maybe they can erect a monument to a non-existent car plant. Would actually make more sense. God save us from Charlotte Republicans!

    1. McCrory’s Secretary of Cultural Resources (Archives and History) is a Democrat. She is just doing what any other Democrat would do. The real question is why do we not have a Republican in the cabinet position, like Patric Dorsey, former 1st District GOP chairman who was Secretary of this department for 8 years under Jim Martin?

  7. Think about it. Cars help cause Global Warming, which is a threat to Polar Bears, Therefore, we need no new car plants. Not in NC. Not is SC. Not in Georgia. Not even in Sweden. In fact, we need to close down some that already exist. The hard core environmentalist position is to oppose all cars plants.

    We in the hard core environmentalist movement have learned that the way to advance our cause is to buy us some progressive Republican consultants. If those guys can con the legislative leaership, then there are lots of Sheeple in the GOP caucus who will just do whatever the leadership wants without thinking twice about it. Conning people in a Republican executive branch position is not a lot more difficult to get our cause advanced. Consultants can work fine there, too.

    We have also learned that we need to do more to hide the trail from those on our payroll back to us in the hard core environmental movement. It was most unfortunate that those stinkers at Civitas picked up the trail from our bought and paid for progressive consultants, Dee Stewart and Paul Shumaker back to our hard core environmentalist movement. If we are clever and careful, when things happen, you conservatives will never know it is us pulling the strings.

    It is not just state government. When Richard Burr casts one of his progressive votes, just think about it. Our guy Paul Shumaker is his consultant.

    Or think about it in your party. Our guy Dee Stewart is running his guy Craig Collins for NCGOP chairman. If you like Dee Stewart, you will love his friend Craig Collins.

  8. Raphael, you make a good point. From what I hear, the Secretary at Cultural Resources is no friend of Republicans or historically-minded North Carolinians. Think about it: she removed the Sesquicentennial exhibit from the State Capitol and honors the Communist Workers Party! She is a liberal Democrat, but don’t forget that McCrory appointed her! As I say, save us from Charlotte Republicans. The Republican base is increasingly fed-up with our Governor. Many will sit out the 2016 election.

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