by Max Brantley
Here's the Friday night open line. Final thoughts:
* CLAWBACKS: The state of Arkansas gave Windstream $1 million upfront and promised about $4.5 million more to locate its corporate headquarters in Little Rock, where most of the execs were already working prior to spinoff from Alltel. So what now? The company announced this week it may lop up to 400 management-level jobs, some of them certain to be in Little Rock. I asked the governor's office and got this response from Matt DeCample:
There are clawbacks that kick in if employment and investment levels fall below a certain level in AEDC incentive agreements. Of course, since we don’t know yet how much Arkansas will be impacted by the job cuts, there’s not much action AEDC can take at this point besides working to gather more information.
And this from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission's Joe Holmes:
The quick action fund money that was committed to the project when announced they were locating their headquarters here permanently in 2010 and would create 210 and retain 300 jobs, was $5,485,621 to be used for training and capital improvements over three years. To date $3,459,477 has been paid. I believe also there are two performance based incentives involved, Advantage Arkansas which gives them 1% tax credit on new full time employee payroll for five years, and Tax Back which refunds sales and use taxes on construction and modernization materials. On the performance based they will eventually receive is tied to what they actually do.
As for the layoffs we don’t have any info about where they will occur. Just have to wait and see. Let me know if I can do anything else.
* THE NONRECOVERY: Republicans were positively exultant today at the misery of other American citizens — all but chortling at the poor jobs report, a blow to President Obama. More stimulus is needed. Republicans prefer that the wealthy amass more riches and the jobless and poor suffer. The market took a drubbing. Doesn't that make you happy?
* DRIVING WHILE BLACK: Black drivers are stopped at a disproportionate rate in Missouri, study finds. And the rate is worsening. Latinos fare better. I wonder what a similar study would find in Arkansas?
* FOX FUNNY BUSINESS: Roger Ailes won't let a reporter subscribe to a little newspaper his wife runs because he's working on a book believed to be unflattering to Fox News.
* BREAKING NEWS: TWO DEAD IN HIT AND RUN: Fox 16 has the report on the deaths of two pedestrians killed by a hit and run driver this afternoon at 23rd and Chester. The dead were teens and the driver, believed under the influence of drugs, was arrested after a crash nearby.