Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hypocrite of the week: John Correnti, state welfare king

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 6:06 AM

click to enlarge HYPOCRITE OF THE WEEK: John Correnti. - ARKANSAS BUSINESS
  • Arkansas Business
  • HYPOCRITE OF THE WEEK: John Correnti.
John Correnti, the chief executive of Big River Steel and other ventures, gave an interview to Arkansas Business that easily won him hypocrite of the week honors and puts him in the running for the biggest hypocrite of the year.

He was asked about the government role — extensive in the case of the steel mill he's building in Mississippi County as well as some other ventures. He responded on government's role, with some emphasis supplied.

Stay out. You might say, ‘Wait a minute. You’re being hypocritical, John. Look what the state put up.’ And that’s true. But you’ve got to stay competitive as far as a state’s concerned. You can ask Grant Tennille at AEDC. His competition is Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina. Is it better for the state to invest in a company like Big River? Or is it better to invest in more SNAP cards and more welfare? The governor and Grant Tennille — they didn’t give away the whole candy store. They used Amendment 82 the way that the citizens of Arkansas intended them to use it. But as far as government is concerned, they should stay out of private industry.

Welfare? The brass of this blowhard. Let us recapitulate the welfare enjoyed by Big John Correnti, in the course of being subsidized to provide direct competition to Nucor, which started pretty much on its own hook and was none too happy about Correnti emerging as a government-subsidized competitor in their backyard: The welfare list compiled for me by the AEDC:

BIG RIVER STEEL – Amendment 82

Authorized state to issue up to $125 million 20 year general obligation bonds

· $50 million loan to Big River Steel

· $50 million grant for site preparation

· $20 million grant for subsurface stabilization – pilings

· $5 million bond issuance cost

BIG RIVER STEEL STATE INCENTIVES in Addition to Amendment 82

· Tax Back - provides sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery and equipment associated with the project.

· Advantage Arkansas – 4% income tax credit based on new payroll for new jobs for five years.

· Training Funds — $10 million ($5 million Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund, and $5 million Department of Workforce Services Trust Fund)

· Recycling Equipment Tax Credit — income tax credit equal to 30 percent of eligible recycling equipment costs. These tax credits will carry forward for 14 years.

· Sales Tax Exemption on Utilities –provides full exemption of sales tax associated with the sale of natural gas and electricity.

· Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) agreed to make $5 million in bridge-gap funding available to Big River Steel. The $5 million assures the $14 million in local incentives (see below) will be immediately available. Mississippi County/Osceola has more than $9 million in the bank for Big River Steel and the remaining $5 million is to be collected by the end of 2014 via a half-cent sales tax for economic development. ADFA’s $5 million simply makes the full $14 million available today.


LOCAL INCENTIVES

· $12 million from Mississippi County and $2 million from the City of Osceola.


ARKANSAS TEACHER RETIREMENT SYSTEM

· Trustees of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ARTRS) have approved investment of up to $125 million in system funds in Big River Steel (ARTRS originally announced a total investment of $60 million but recently authorized an additional $65 million investment).

That's tens of millions in direct handouts and tax giveaways. That retirement system investment was contributed by taxpayers to the fund that pays for teacher pensions. Those same venture capitalists — Arkansas taxpayers — have put $18 million in another Correnti project, an electronics recycling business.

Stay out?

If government stayed out of John Correnti's business, he'd have no business.

A good return on my investment from John Correnti would be a polite thank you. And him shutting up.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Ethics Commission begins investigation of Rep. Mike Holcomb

    The state Ethics Commission last week informed a complainant she'd raised sufficient questions about campaign finance filings by Republican Rep. Mike Holcomb to initiate an investigation.
    • Sep 25, 2016
  • Drug companies fight medical marijuana

    Disclosure about financing of the anti-medical marijuana campaign in Arkansas is so far lacking, but it's no secret what's happened in other states — pharmaceutical companies have worked to defeat medical marijuana laws because they create (safer) competition.
    • Sep 25, 2016
  • Ken Starr on the real victim of Baylor rapes

    Kenneth Starr, whose persecutorial past need not be repeated here, gave an extensive interview yesterday with Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune and, boy, was it a corker. The football coach was the true victim, said Starr.
    • Sep 25, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The shame of Robert E. Lee/MLK Day in Arkansas

    This morning, I was a student ambassador for Philander Smith College and the Social Justice Institute at a House Committee that discussed Rep. Nate Bell’s proposal to divide a Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
    • Feb 11, 2015
  • Clergy oppose another piece of gay discrimination legislation

    SB 202, which will take effect Tuesday unless Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoes it, isn't the only legislation pending that aims at protecting discrimination against gay people. A companion bill, HB 1228, by Rep. Bob Ballinger, has similar intent to protect "conscience" as a pretext for legal discrimination against gay people in matters unrelated to religious practice.
    • Feb 21, 2015
  • Rep. Nate Bell blasts adoption story before seeing it; 'rehoming' bill introduced

    Response to our story about rehoming and adoption has been overwhelmingly positive, with one exception. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) has informed me that writing this story makes me the predator and Justin Harris the victim. I'm hellbound, apparently.
    • Mar 4, 2015

Most Shared

  • George H.W. Bush will vote for Hillary. Or will he?

    Politico reports that Kathleen Harrington Kennedy Townsend says former Republican President George H.W. Bush is voting for Hillary Clinton for president. The article quotes a Bush spokesman as declining to confirm or deny.
  • Who's harming women?

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is an Arkansas Republican. Thus, like the governor and the Republican-majority legislature, she intends to do everything she can to deny women comprehensive medical care, particularly abortion.
  • New normal

    No two presidential candidates since polling began have run up negatives as massive as those of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who yet won their parties' nominations easily. "What gives?" may be the biggest political mystery in history.
  • Additional rape charges filed against Conway doctor

    Special Prosecutor Jason Barrett has added 11 more victims to two others alleging rape by Dr. Robert Rook of Conway.
  • Big Dam Bridge 100 brings big damn complaint about celebrity rider Hincapie

    The Big Dam Bridge 100 is this weekend and one dedicated biker isn't happy about a celebrity rider, admitted doper George Hincapie.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Saturday open line

    • Honestly, Anna H, do we not feel as if we'd stepped through the looking glass…

    • on September 25, 2016
  • Re: Saturday open line

    • Fascinating Newsweek story, Norma (or whoever). Thanks for sharing. Of course, it won't change the…

    • on September 25, 2016
  • Re: Dept. of Health: Case of Zika Virus confirmed in Arkansas

    • Hello viewers I have been a victim of HERPES VIRUS for 4years and i had…

    • on September 25, 2016

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation