Saturday, August 23, 2014

North Carolina Is Being Run By Stupid People

The North Carolina General Assembly -- bless their (tiny, desiccated) hearts and their (total lack of) vision -- ended the incentive program that had built the film industry in North Carolina to the third largest in the whole country.

They instead put in a puny, emasculated incentive that The Hollywood Reporter called "nearly useless." Turns out the NC GOP hearts polluting industries (coal ash, anyone? how about fracking?) far more than they heart a non-polluting, jobs-creating industry like motion pictures.

“It’s disappointing,” the Motion Picture Association of America said in a statement Thursday, “that the new grant program included in the budget agreement will prevent North Carolina from remaining competitive in attracting this prominent source of in-state economic activity.”

And then there's this:
Spokespeople for ABC, CBS and Fox could not confirm their plans, but one studio executive said: “It definitely doesn’t bode well for future new production there, or for the terrific infrastructure of production, personnel and vendors they’ve built up in the state.”
In North Carolina, the first term Gov. Pat McCrory and the Speaker of the House Thom Tillis — a candidate for Senate —had both been vocal backers of film incentives until recently. However, as the state has seen a number of conservatives, Libertarian and Tea Party candidates elected, they have shifted to either a neutral position (the governor) or opposition (the speaker).
One big reason the North Carolina incentive legislation failed is because the Koch Brothers-backed nonprofit Americans for Prosperity bought radio commercials as the debate was going on that slammed film incentives. The ads were part of a larger campaign to eliminate a range of state-funded development programs.
"The money coming in from the outside has hurt the North Carolina programs for business development," said Rep. Susi Hamilton, a Democrat who fought to retain incentives. "The Americans for Prosperity spent a lot of money to try and end the program and unfortunately they have the ear or our leadership and appear to be successful."
From BlueNC this morning:
CAROLINA COMBACK’ OR ‘NORTH STATE STAGNATION?’ -- There’s hardly a road-side vegetable stand or machine shop that opens in North Carolina these days that Gov. Pat McCrory and his Department of Commerce don’t seize the opportunity for a news release or ribbon-cutting to announce new job creations. It’s seemed McCrory announces new jobs in the 10s or 20s while South Carolina announces them by the thousands. In the two years that McCrory’s been in office, even with the tax cuts enacted specifically to attract more industry and jobs, the number of new jobs announced has dropped 17 percent; the new job project inquiries dropped 16 percent; new projects announced dropped 8 percent; and total capital investment in new and expanded businesses has dropped 56 percent. Many of those in the Commerce Department who’d been involved in business recruitment in the previous administrations have been dismissed and not taken on by the new private enterprise that has taken over the state’s job-hunting efforts. It appears to be a high hill for the new enterprise to climb, not only making up for the ground lost the last two years, but also dealing with making up for jobs, in a variety of sectors including new energy and films, that will be headed elsewhere because of the elimination of various tax incentives and state assistance.

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