Wednesday, May 2, 2012

VIDEO: Montgomery Councilmember George Leventhal Slams Steve Silverman on Ike Leggett's Lockheed Martin Welfare Plan


BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice has been tracking the strange saga of Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett's repeated efforts to give Lockheed Martin nearly $1 million from the government treasury -- in exchange for nothing at all. He previously sought County Council approval for his corporate welfare plan, but the nine-member body balked at the idea. Two years later, he has re-packaged the welfare plan as an economic stimulus measure, and is trying once again to spend money on mindless corporate welfare. Montgomery County resident Jean Athey, has a new column at the Foreign Policy in Focus website, that explains some of the political context to the Lockheed controversy.

Most County Councilmembers have expressed disapproval at the idea of using economic stimulus dollars to give a single, profitable corporation a tax rebate. But even some who oppose the Leggett plan are still open to the idea of permanently implementing a tax break for Lockheed Martin. Below, we provide several video clips of Councilmembers expressing their opinions on the Lockheed welfare plan:

MARYLAND JUICE CAMEO AT COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING: Last week, Maryland Juice reported that the proposed Lockheed tax giveaway was debated during a County Council PHED committee meeting. We have now obtained video footage of the April 26th meeting and are amused to see that Maryland Juice's advocacy against the Lockheed welfare plan was a topic of discussion (see below).

CLIP #1 - GEORGE LEVENTHAL VS. STEVE SILVERMAN: Maryland Juice previously printed a letter that County Executive Ike Leggett sent to opponents of his Lockheed Martin welfare plan. Leggett's Economic Development Director Steve Silverman forwarded around copies of the letter, which included statements suggesting the welfare plan was a matter of national security. During the Thursday committee meeting, County Councilmember George Leventhal (Democrat, At-Large) took issue with Mr. Leggett's letter. Watch his interrogation of Steve Silverman below:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

CLIP #2 - CRAIG RICE SEEKS A VOTE ON PERMANENT LOCKHEED TAX CUT: Councilmember Craig Rice (District 2) presented a contrast regarding the proposed Lockheed tax cut. In the video clip below (also from the 4/26 committee meeting), Mr. Rice describes his successful efforts to pass a hotel tax exemption for Lockheed while serving in the State House. He also notes that though he questions Mr. Leggett's plan, he hopes to see the Council vote on a permanent hotel tax exemption for Lockheed Martin:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

CLIP #3 - COUNCIL PRESIDENT ROGER BERLINER PANS LOCKHEED TAX CUT: After the Lockheed discussion last week, Council President Roger Berliner explained his opposition to Mr. Leggett's corporate welfare plan. The Montgomery cable news segment below carried his comments, along with additional thoughts from Councilmember George Leventhal:

FULL VIDEO OF LOCKHEED WELFARE DEBATE: You can watch the full 4/26 PHED committee debate about MoCo Exec Ike Leggett's Lockheed Martin welfare plan below. The meeting below includes comments from Councilmember Marc Elrich (starts at roughly 36:28) and Councilmember Nancy Floreen (starts at roughly 42:56).

Get Microsoft Silverlight

No comments:

Post a Comment