The news that Curt Schilling’s Rhode Island based computer gaming company defaulted on a payment on its loan and quite possibly has squandered $75 million of borrowed money that the taxpayers of the Ocean State guaranteed is unsurprising. Twenty-two months ago in this blog post (reproduced below in its entirety including contemporaneous comments) I labelled the whole thing a scam and congratulated Governor Patrick for not getting conned into supporting a predictably ill-fated enterprise. Of course not everyone agreed. As Jack so thoroughly points out in this Left in Lowell post, the editorialists of the local newspaper condemned Governor Patrick for allowing Schilling to decamp to Rhode Island despite the crystal clear dubiousness of the proposition. But I’ll leave it to Jack to link to the “sorry, we got that wrong” editorial, whenever that might appear. For now, here’s a glimpse back across 22 months of blogging to my earlier post:
Curt Schilling and Corporate Welfare
by DickH on Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I was pleased that Massachusetts refused to hand former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling a big taxpayer guaranteed check for his company which, according to today’s Globe, is “a start up that has yet to bring a product to market.” Rhode Island can have him. Hopefully he’ll want to live closer to work and will leave the Commonwealth entirely. Six months ago, the most dangerous place in Massachusetts was between this guy and a microphone as he spared no effort condemning government spending while campaigning for Scott Brown.
Here’s what old number 38 had to say on January 13, 2010:
No one to blame but ourselves, we’ve elected these buffoons, and we’re paying through the nose for it. The Government has done nothing but spend, and grow, at a time when we have no money to spend and absolutely unequivocally NO need for a larger government. If you think it’s going to change, you’re wrong.
The next day, he added this:
What Government run/funded program in this country’s history has ever been run with an ounce of financial responsibility, prudence, or with the peoples best interest at the forefront? None, that’s which one.
So in January, he says all government spending is a waste but in July he’s happy to get a $75mil kiss from the taxpayers of Rhode Island. I guess Curt’s political philosophy can be summed up as follows: When it’s a taxpayer expenditure that personally benefits him, it’s good government; when it’s a program that benefits someone else its socialism. As I said, good riddance.
12 Comments to “Curt Schilling and Corporate Welfare”
July 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm
This one really frosted my kister big time! The Big Blowhard thinks nothing of going on talk radio WEEI in the morning with the Dennis and Callahan crew and rant against everything the government does to help poor people, unemployed workers, the homeless, just about anyone down on their luck. But the BB thinks nothing of putting his baseball cap out there to get massive corporate welfare from a state that is one of the most brokeass in the nation, closing schools, laying off massive numbers of teachers, etc. But then the overpaid sports-entitled and the radio and TV sycophants who enable them figure the rules do not apply to them. Similar in a way, but even more of a stick up in my opinion, than Johnny Yacht’s flirting with his own assumed nobility.
I greatly dislike people who lecture about rules, yap against government and public sector workers, and at the same time have their own giant paws out there looking for their own kick back – read Charlie Rangle here too. A pox on the corrupt and greedy of any stripe or political persuasion.
July 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm
You have to wonder about the viability of this venture when no private equity/venture firms were willing to invest their capital in this company. I wonder if Celtics co-owner Steve Paglucia would have an opinion on the record on this story. In past radio interviews on the economy, finance etc. I found him to be very informative with the ability to talk about complex economic issues in “plain talk”.
July 28, 2010 at 9:29 pm
I suppose Guv spending is only good, when it’s good for him! Tsk, Tsk.
July 29, 2010 at 5:59 am
It was not direct cash, but a loan guarantee, with stipulations attached to prove the meeting of hiring figures… a better deal than we’re getting with Lawrence.
In Mass, the only way we seem to get any big businesses is to do the same.. offer tax breaks or concessions to large companies or industries to move or stay here. Once the tax breaks end.. the companies realize the actual cost of doing business in Mass and move out.
Yeah, its a risk on RI’s part. But I bet they’re hoping that Schilling will be a draw to bring in more gaming companies, and more high tech workers. They are a pretty low cost place to live, with some beautiful historic areas.
July 29, 2010 at 7:11 am
Tsk Tsk Shawn! You should know better. Giving tax breaks to a company that will emply about 350 people is no economic stimulus. Now unemployment benefits, that’s economic stimulus.
July 29, 2010 at 7:26 am
If we had said that the state was committing $75 million to some start up business that had yet to get a product to market owned by a nobody who promised to create 350 jobs in Lowell, you guys would all be going crazy saying socialism was invading the Merrimack Valley. But when the money is going to one of your philosophical fellow travelers, that’s OK.
July 29, 2010 at 7:41 am
Curt Schilling is loyal to money – period. When speaking of “games”, the casinos offer the State license fees, whereas CS is looking for financial backing that is best left to Venture Capitalists to make that decision. Apparently they are taking a pass, so he is looking for the public to back him, something he would rail against if it were anyone but himself. We’ll have to see how RI makes out with this one.
July 29, 2010 at 8:23 am
“Giving tax breaks to a company that will employ about 350 people is no economic stimulus”
Tax breaks would be a completely different issue.. and one I do agree with completely (as I said above).
Its how we got companies like Raytheon to stay around as long as they did, and its what Patrick is doing with all these green opportunities.
July 29, 2010 at 8:25 am
And as to unemployment benefits.. I know a number of people who know how to play that game very well.. get a seasonal job for 6 or 7 months, then go on unemployment for as long as you can, then go back to another temp job.
Its a whole culture out there that nobody is interested in ending.. just encouraging.
July 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Jock sniffing legislatures and anyone esle connected with this fiasco should be forced to wear a replica bloody sock as a hat for three months!
July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm
Dick, I’m curious did you instantly start hating him when he dared utter “get out and vote… and vote Bush.” In 2004 or did it take time to develop hatred for him. If he would have said vote Kerry would that have been ok? If he campaigned for Marsha Coakley would you two be chummy?
See I love him and it’s not just the politics, he’s got huge brass ones and is the best big game pitcher in the history of the modern league. Plus he’s a video game dork and let me tell you as another video game dork and a World of Warcraft player myself- many people can’t wait for his second game to come out. The first one will wet the appetitte but almost everyone in the gaming industry has said that his company once it puts product on the shelf at $30-$50 a piece AND then the $10-$15 monthly subscription his company which is full of gaming industry heavyweights is going to return huge profits.
One other thing- for everyone calling him a blowhard (which he likes the sound of his own voice but what celeb doesn’t?) would you rather hear a question asked and then hear an actual opinion or the rehearsed Bull Durham good of the team 110% bs? You can’t have it both ways. He just dared to be a Conservative in the People’s Republic. I can’t wait to flee the state myself.
450 jobs at an average of $72,500 a year is a lot of tax revenue for Massachusetts to not get to piss away. Instead little Rhode gets too.
July 29, 2010 at 1:51 pm
I loved Schilling when he helped win the WS and I fully believe he is entitled to whatever political views he wants and of course he can back the candidates of his choosing as we all can. It is the lack of a consistent perspective that galls me. You can not go on conservative talk radio and lash out at social services programs and camaign for candidates who attack the public sector and te role of government in the economy and then turn around and open what now amounts to an ‘open bucket’ moht you want filled with public sector largess.
And if this venture ever generates that many jobs in RI at those wages I’ll eat the freaking bloody sock!
Matters not to me if he is a Dem or Rep – which is why I noted my dislike for Admiral Kerry and Rent Commissioner Rangle too. Don’t ride high and mighty and holier than thou and then wait for your own underhanded payoff.