Eighty-Year Heritage vs Company on Paper Only

Louisiana Secretary of Economic Development Stephen Moret said the other day the the reason they had not yet helped Bruce Foods was that they hadn’t provided his department with financial information.

Bruce Foods’ CEO Si Brown told the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget that he has been trying to get a $1 million grant from the state for seven years. Instead, LED granted $37 million to a competitor (ConAgra) and is helping finance competition against his business with taxpayer dollars.

C. B. Forgotston had reported the story last week, and Brown was also last week a guest on Moon Griffon’s radio show. Documents related to the issue can be found here.

Contrast With V-Vehicle Company

Contrast this attitude toward Bruce Foods with that exhibited toward V-Vehicle Company, an entity that did not exist before April 9, 2007. Moret signed a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the company on June 15, 2009 that committed the taxpayers of Louisiana and Ouachita Parish to nearly $90 million of direct grants. Yet according to SEC documents, the company only on June 10, 2009 offered debt financing for sale. Equity investment in the company was not offered for sale until July 20 of this year.

Further, as of this writing, no Louisiana contractors have been engaged to work on the project that we can document, despite language in the CEA directing just that condition. LPNO had reported on that issue here and here.

What’s wrong with this picture?

UPDATE: 3:40 pm, 8/31/09

LOSS OF POWER
Entergy Corp’s quiet moves out of Louisiana since Katrina go largely unnoticed by state, local economic development officials

2 Responses to “Eighty-Year Heritage vs Company on Paper Only”

  1. Si Brown/ConAgra Update « Lincoln Parish News Online Says:

    […] Parish News Online had reported on the story here and here and […]

  2. JohnMartin Says:

    Rather than hiring a woman who might have been more of a “token” Ford Motor Company female executive, V-Vehicle/Next/whatever may have come out ahead by hiring someone readily identified as a Democrat. When you run the names of the car company’s main movers and shakers through the various campaign contribution reporting sites, they seem to have spent their money on Republicans. With every Republican office holder in Louisiana blasting any/all in the Obama administration for breathing, it is not likely that the infant car company will ever see $350,000,000 of federal money coming their way.
    In the olden days, folks looking for political clout put out a bit of “insurance money” to be sure there were friendly relationships with administrations of both persuasions. But, alas no more!

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