Tag Archives: crony capitalism

Local Florida officials battle over $8 million grant to Blue Origin

Local county officials in Florida are involved in a court fight over the decision by the county to borrow $8 million in order to pay a grant to Blue Origin for locating its factory there.

Brevard County commissioners narrowly approved a plan that would allow the county to borrow money to pay for an $8 million economic incentive to rocket manufacturer Blue Origin. The vote was 3-2, with Chair Rita Prichett and Commissioners Jim Barfield and Curt Smith supporting the proposal. Vice Chair Kristine Isnardi and Commissioner John Tobia voted against the plan.

Brevard County Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis told commissioners he plans to go to court to challenge the legality of the county borrowing money to pay for the grant to Blue Origin.

Isnardi is quoted in the article as saying “I don’t think it’s a great policy to give $8 million to a billionaire.” The opposition to this grant also questions the legality of borrowing money to pay it.

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House passes new tax on concrete companies

The swamp is winning! The Republican House today passed a new law that not only imposes a new tax on concrete industry, it creates a crony Concrete Masonry Products Board to help keep its buddies in that industry in charge.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky. (F, 45%), would create a Concrete Masonry Products Board composed of 15-25 members appointed by the Department of Commerce after a referendum approval by producers of concrete masonry products. This board will have the power to establish, finance, and carry out a “coordinated research and education program,” ostensibly to “promote masonry products in the domestic market,” according to a legislative bulletin email from the Republican Study Committee. This program will be paid for by a “federally administered assessment.”

This is corruption, pure and simple. We don’t need this. All it accomplishes is to force the public to pay for this fake board whose only real purpose, when you strip it down to its essentials, will be to favor the already established U.S. concrete companies.

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