Letters to the Politicians and Others: A Good Longread

It all started innocently enough with an email to Treasurre Lynn Fitch by Port Policy Wonk Dan Norfleet:

Good Morning Treasurer Fitch:

Edison Chouest Offshore learned to create subsidiaries to be responsible for repaying the money when the jobs do not materialize. Failing to do this in Galveston cost the company $9 Million and could have cost tens of millions of dollars more: Louisiana offshore firm owes Port of Galveston $9 million. Anything built in Mississippi will not be an Edison Chouest project, but will be “LaShip” or “TopShip,” or “MyShip”—a newly formed corporation with no track record and virtually no chance of making good on its promises but trading on the past record of Edison Chouest. As usual, the MDA is being played. This is just another making-energy-out-of-mud project that will put Mississippi further into the economic hole.

Never one to waste a good link I clicked the link in Dan’s email and ended up liking the story so much that, despite it being several years old, Slabbed put it out on Twitter.1 It was recognized as a quality link in short order by Lee Zurik’s investigative assistant Tom Wright.

The bottom line is the Chouest family well learned its lesson from its Galveston experience in 2006:

Could Topship end up in the same boat as Louisiana affiliate? ~ Anita Lee Continue reading “Letters to the Politicians and Others: A Good Longread”

Latest boondoggle proposed by Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority: Jackson Movie Studio

God help everyone hold onto their wallets because the Movie Industry is targeting the Mississippi treasury after successfully looting Louisiana’s with taxpayer funded boondoggle. Geoff Pender promotes the scheme for the Clarion Ledger:

Adam Rosenfelt, a film producer and president of Element Pictures with more than 15 feature films to his credit, including “Mr. Brooks” and “Waiting,” wants to create Mississippix Studios, based in Jackson.

And, he wants to create a new program of film incentives that would result in more money coming in to the state, and permanent jobs. Typically film productions are granted tax breaks or other incentives upfront, shoot for a few months then head back to Hollywood with states often seeing little direct financial benefit. Rosenfelt is proposing the state create a loan guarantee program that serves as a “backstop.” If his company is successful, the state pays nothing, and instead gets 10 percent of his profit.

One big clue the latest scheme is gonna be a problem is the guy in Jackson promoting it is:

  1. Spreading a BS story about how much he loves the Mississippi coast which is why he’s been 3 and a half hours away in Jacktown for the past year with his nose up Phil Bryant’s hiney. Bryant, never known for private sector financial acumen was likely sucked right in by the promise of getting to hob nob with Slabbed favorite Bull Durham, who was last seen celebrating his successful shakedown of BP back during the oil spill.
  2. Was a “pioneer in state film incentives, and helped develop Louisiana’s groundbreaking motion picture tax credit program.” This program was groundbreaking in the sheer amount of taxpayer money that has been pissed away into the pockets of people like Rosenfelt, who now splits his time between Los Angeles and Jackson.

In fact pioneering the latest movie industry scheme to fleece the taxpayers is exactly what Rosenfelt is doing in Mississippi because he’d no more live in Jackson, Mississippi than he would Montgomery Alabama if the taxpayers weren’t gonna pay for it some sort of way. Louisiana pissed away over one bllion dollars before people started to ask the critical questions that had not been previously asked about Rosenfelt’s Louisiana film tax credit boondoggle according the Louisiana Budget Project (PDF of their 12 page report can be found here).

One would naturally think that after the financial crash just 5 years ago the problems with Rosenfelt’s scheme would be apparent, especially to Lt. Gov Tate Reeves, who comes from a financial background.  Here are Rosenfelt’s talking points: Continue reading “Latest boondoggle proposed by Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority: Jackson Movie Studio”

Please join Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen, officials from the Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation, local officials and Joe Cloyd…

Because today at 2PM:

What: Riverside Adult Living Community Ribbon Cutting and Open House
Where: 12420 Lamey Bridge Road, D’Iberville, Miss.

Sunday Miller time: “Minerals”? WTF are “Minerals”?

Whatever they are I think Chancery Court Judge Jennifer Schloegel has ’em, unless the Supremes tote water for Jim Hood and Stacey Pickering and redefine what constitutes a public record that is.

Newspaper seeks contempt ruling against Pickering, auditor’s office ~ Anita Lee

If my best source on this is right and I think the person likely is correct on the assertion that the public records in question contain no smoking guns, this makes the actions of State Auditor Pickering and Attorney General Jim Hood all the more perplexing. That said the prevailing viewpoint and the one the sequence of events leading to the Federal subpoena of those records lends the most credibility is Pickering and Hood are covering for politically connected good ol’ boys that were looting out DMR’s artificial reef program etc.  Like I said, I’m sticking with the Pickering and Hood = Beavis and Butthead theory for now.

Next up is Mac and a letter that ran yesterday. (H/T Eye-Spy in comments)

Is Jamie Miller’s DMR a champion of the Coast or the governor? ~ Maxine Ramsay

The fix for drilling in the Mississippi sound was in from the time Miller was appointed to lead DMR.

Feel free to add your own links in comments.

Moooooving along it appears Boss Hogg may have his own “Beef Plant”

We have lots of relative newbies here on Slabbed and so I’d be remiss if I did not point out Slabbed was the Beef Plant blog back in the day, thus the post title, as economic development boondoggles are nothing new in Mississippi.  With the Solar pump in full swing I reckon it is no surprise the MDA flushed $26 million taxpayer dollars down the toilet up Senatobia way on a Solar plant that never produced a single solar panel. At best this is the type of MDA incompetence that makes you want to grab a pitchfork and head to Jackson and at worst, well in the Beef Plant case things got far worse.

Since we’ve covered economic development boondoggles literally across the entire North American continent, I reckon Slabbed will follow this one too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6tV11acSRk