The Taxpayer-Funded ‘Beautification’ of Cronyism
Under Governor Beebe’s specific direction, through his quick action fund and the economic infrastructure fund, LM Wind Power received nearly $15 million in taxpayer cash. But now the company is cutting jobs. How was your money spent? Let’s take a look.
Roughly $6.9 million of the $14.94 million that was given to LM Wind Power came from the governor’s quick action fund–more appropriately labeled a ‘slush fund.’ Here are some breakdowns of how that money was spent, according to the Bureau of Legislative Research (three spreadsheets are linked below):
- $5.08 million categorized as “site prep” and construction services
- $1.52 million spent on “rail and road/streets”
- $223,786 spent on “beautification”
It’s very unclear what the expenditures for “beautification” actually went towards. It is clear that this was an improper use of your money.
I made an inquiry with the Bureau of Legislative Research for more information. They directed me to contact the Arkansas Economic Development Commission directly. Two phone calls to AEDC have not yet been returned. So I tried to contact LM Wind Power. They called me back to tell me they do not have any PR representatives in the U.S.–only in Denmark. The only person who could possibly answer any of my questions was the HR director who happens to be out of the country until next week.
Exasperated, I filed a formal Freedom of Information Request with AEDC regarding these expenditures. Per state law, they will have three days to fulfill my request. At that time, I should have more to report about LM Wind Power’s taxpayer-funded beautification. Stay tuned!
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No taxpayer money should go to any business. If they can’t make it on their own…Oh Well!
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