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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, May 16, 2012


It's not often that the governors of two states get to say "I told you so." But Deval Patrick has chosen quiet satisfaction while Lincoln Chafee is scrambling to save his taxpayers $75 million.

That's the chunk of change Rhode Island economic development officials waved in front of Curt Schilling to move his business from Massachusetts. The former Red Sox pitcher's video game development company was on the verge of faltering in the Bay State at the time.

The Patrick administration, which took quite a lot of grief for its support of the now-failed Evergreen Solar, wasn't ready to pony up that level of support, so the famously outspoken conservative Schilling packed up his toys and moved to Rhody.

Across the border, then-candidate Chafee shared Patrick's reluctance but the state's development team secured the move with a promise he would bring 450 high-paying jobs to Providence, and help establish the city as a major video game development center.

Now Schilling, who did invest $30 million of his own into the venture, is having trouble coming up with  a $1.1 million loan payment. If the deal ultimately goes south and 38 Studio fails, Rhode Island taxpayers are on the hook for the loan.

That's proven too much for the former Ocean State official who had already left state government when the deal was made.

Gary Sasse, former director of administration under Governor Donald Carcieri, Chafee’s predecessor and a strong supporter of the loan guarantee, admitted the deal was a dud.
“We were putting a lot of our eggs in one basket,’’ Sasse said. “If I was there, I would probably have advised the governor against doing the deal.’’
Hindsight is always 20-20. And silence is the word for 38 Studios.

It also can't go unnoticed that the famously "independent" Schilling, who has not been shy with political commentary, dropped his anti-government animosity long enough to take a check that he now appears unable to repay.

I wonder what he would say if a Democratic celebrity spoke out of both sides of his mouth.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Where's the 30 million number come from?

Last I read he ponied up only 4 million, which he recuperated from the load.

Funny enough, it reminds me of Bain Capital practices; take out a huge loan that will be defaulted on and pay yourself back a large sum, thus ensuring you profit off your failed investment.

May 16, 2012 11:48 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Source for $30 million is Herald story linked to in post.

May 17, 2012 5:55 AM  

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