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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Give it back Evergreen

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Evergreen Solar. Of course, we shouldn't allow the door to open until the company accounts for the $58 million it took from Massachusetts taxpayers under false pretenses.

The Devens alternative energy company's decision to pick up and move to China, taking 800 jobs financed in part by you and me, is assuredly a black eye on the Patrick administration that bought their claims of good jobs at good wages.

But before partisans leap at Patrick's throat, they would be well-advised to recall the same gullibility shown by the Weld and Cellucci administrations in heeding the siren songs of Raytheon and Fidelity Investments, hardly crunchy granola firms easy to deride. It's easy to carp about liberals being anti-business, then pile on when an attempt to create jobs falls flat.

What we should be looking at is the corporate blackmail practiced by firms to get a piece of the public's cash -- and the standards imposed by governors and legislatures to see that the firms keep their promises.

Evergreen, like Raytheon and Fidelity before it, will likely claim with some degree of credibility, that they technically met their end of the bargains. But technically should not be good enough and taxpayers should have recourse when companies make promises with fingers crossed.

Oh, and the film tax credit? Fuhgedaboudit.

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