Monday, May 09, 2005

Corporate Welfare is Killing Pittsburgh

Dan's letter below is an plug for the D's race for mayor for Lamb. However, it is built on the same concept I'm always stressing. We have too much corporate welfare. We need to turn away from that avenue.

In the debate that was on TV last night, Fontana stood up to the charge I've been making about corporate welfare, TIFs and the vivid, recent example from his time on County Council as he voted to give a TIF to "DEER CREEK CROSSING." Fontana's reply was comical. He said he believed in "property rights."


Property rights have little to do with corporate welfare. I'm much stronger on property rights than any of these others as I've been on the line to end EMINENT DOMAIN. That's a property right matter, not TIFs.

If the property owners of Deer Creek Crossing want to build a mall, fine. But, don't give them a TIF. Don't get out the county checkbook and make it easy for them to do the development with public money.

The two pages of text of a correctred handbill that Dan is passing out:
Corporate Welfare makes you pay to subsidize politically connected businesses.

Corporate Welfare drives out businesses who don’t want to play the subsidy game.

Corporate Welfare destroys more jobs than it creates.

Corporate Welfare has brought Pittsburgh to near bankruptcy.

Corporate Welfare corrupts politics, with corporate welfare recipients making huge campaign contributions.

Michael Lamb is our best defense against Corporate Welfare.

Michael Lamb is the only viable candidate who is not up to his eyeballs in corporate welfare.

Michael Lamb has openly criticized corporate welfare.

Michael Lamb is the only candidate who would change our tax system to promote development without corporate welfare.

A vote for Michael Lamb is a vote against Corporate Welfare.

Dear Fellow Citizen,

I have been fighting corporate welfare in Pittsburgh since 1978, and I believe Michael Lamb is the candidate who can turn Pittsburgh back in the right direction, not Bob O’Connor or Bill Peduto.

O’Connor complained about Murphy but rarely stood up to him. He voted to fund stadiums after we defeated the stadium-tax referendum. He voted to buy the site of the new Heinz plant at four times its value and to give Heinz millions in tax breaks to build what they had already agreed to build. He voted to subsidize PNC, Mellon, Giant Eagle and a host of other politically connected corporations at your expense. He voted to subsidize Home Depot, which led to the closing of dozens of local competitors.

O’Connor also drove up property taxes for most home owners. Before he changed us back to conventional property tax, homeowner property tax bills were lower in the city than in most suburbs, but the cost of holding land while waiting for subsidies was much higher. This tax reform promoted development without subsidies. O’Connor destroyed the work we had done with Bill Coyne and other council members to make our property tax cost home owners less and land speculators more.

Bill Peduto also indulges in corporate welfare. He got subsidies for a Giant Eagle store in "blighted" Shandyside, even though Giant Eagle has closed stores in neighborhood that ARE blighted, and he got subsidies for an upscale mall on Baum Blvd. that will compete with existing businesses.

For all these reasons, I ask you to support Michael Lamb for mayor.

Sincerely, Dan Sullivan, director, Saving Communities
627 Melwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) OUR-LAND (412) 687-5263

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We distributed about 100 flyers that said, "Bill Peduto also engages in corporate welfare. When he became a councilman, he had Shadyside declared blighted so he could get subsidies for a Giant Eagle store there, even though Giant Eagle has closed stores in neighborhoods that actually are blighted."

That area of Shadyside had already been declared blighted when Peduto took office. However, he did support tax increment financing for the Giant Eagle expansion, which we consider the real meat of the issue. In any case, we are having the flyers reprinted. The paragraph above has been replaced with the following:

"Bill Peduto also indulges in corporate welfare. He supported subsidies for a Giant Eagle expansion in 'blighted' Shadyside, even though Giant Eagle has closed stores in neighborhoods that actually are blighted, and supported subsidies for an upscale mall on Baum Boulevard to compete with existing businesses."

Dan Sullivan,