Friday, October 23, 2020
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Field Of Dreams? Dwight Should Scream!

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Virginia owns 11.2 undeveloped acres of prime industrial property adjacent to railroad turnout and intermodal freight transport access. Offer it to an innovative auto company for development and year round employment for hundreds? Or, give it away and commit to an investment of millions for an annual three week carnival.

Instead of industrial development financed by the private sector, our Governor, prospective author of the Republican platform fiscal chapter, has backed the city of Richmond into a corner that will result in the commitment of millions of state and city dollars to fulfill the deal he cut that already cost a $4 million state "incentive." Maybe Bruce Allen learned something at the University of Richmond after all and is a shrewder negotiator than imagined. Not. Our Governor is more of a tool than ever imagined. And, Dwight Jones's silent acquiescence in this matter is his own indictment.

"The property is attractive to the team because it is undeveloped and large enough to accommodate two side-by-side football fields and a fieldhouse..." - Richmond Times Dispatch

The size of the required investment becomes clearer as Richmond arrives at the point where it is time to fish or cut bait. A year from now, Bob's deal may spawn a fieldhouse and two football fields in central Richmond. A fieldhouse. Imagine the conversation where Bob explains to Dwight that the state's investment, the transfer of 11.2 acres of state owned land, now never to generate a potential dollar of property tax revenue ever, far exceeds the value of the city's obligation to build a multi-million dollar facility that has a guaranteed, no rent tenant three weeks a year. Odds are, Dwight takes the fall in this contest.

Cheering for McAuliffe and America to Fail

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The minute Global Crossing is mentioned, objectivity is in question. The usual fans of entrepreneurial spirit who fawn over Donald Trump lay for Terry and they think they have caught him with GreenTech Automotive. Apparently a business plan not virgin born is dead on arrival. You know, like Las Vegas.

The Truth About Cars Editor-In-Chief Edward Niedermeyer is a bit unnerved that Terry McAuliffe has not reacted to his stories about GreenTech but has had something to say about an Automotive News report. Bertel Schmitt's character assassination piece is filled with guilt by association vignettes and irrelevant information. Not much of either story deals well with the business case or acknowledges that in this global economy, maybe this is the new model for the American economic resurgence.  First an update on the progress of GreenTech from Terry, then a little bit about the "math."

In both publications, McAuliffe has been taken to task for doing business in a "foreign" way. He didn't hire 2,000 engineers to do research and design work that has already been done. He didn't sink $700 million "to support vehicle electrification, including test facilities, a battery manufacturing lab and special equipment" that has already been developed. Instead, he let the Chinese do that for him. Then he went to the Chinese and dealt with them on terms advantageous (at least he hopes so, but that's why they call it risk) to his investors. In doing so he crossed paths with some people who may be characterized as nefarious. Unfortunately, there was no nunnery holding the keys to an electric car manufacturing facility. There weren't even any Americans with keys to a going concern that holds such promise. Instead he dealt with a world economic reality and the people who are shaping it and he believes he has walked away with an advantage for his investors.