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Danny McBribe as Kenny Powers from HBO's Eastbound & Down, one of my all time favorite shows.  Was shot in North Carolina.
Here's a little background info about myself: I'm an independent comedy filmmaker who's had a lot of my work featured on Funny Or Die (shameless promotion, you can check out my work at (some of my stuff might not be for everyone and is NSFW)) so I support states that promote incentives for the film industry to shoot in their states.  In fact, I almost lost my shit when Governor Tom Corbett (R. PA) of my home state was thinking about ending film tax incentives in Pennsylvania before they started shooting The Dark Knight Rises (I'm also a die hard Batman fan).  With all of that said, you can see why this latest shit from U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R. NC) really pisses me off:

House Speaker Thom Tillis is feeling the pressure on the question of whether to extend the state’s film incentives, demonstrating the political risks for his U.S. Senate campaign embedded in the state budget.

Tillis is a chief supporter of the tax breaks for film companies but his Republican colleagues shot down an attempt Thursday to extend them as part of the House budget plan. It drew a sharp retort from Wilmington Democratic Rep. Susi Hamilton, who said Tillis “double crossed” supporters of extending them. Tillis retorted by saying Hamilton’s comments were “born out of emotions” and worked against the effort.

Democrats are now working to make the incentives an issue in the U.S. Senate race.

A committee working to elect U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan suggested Tillis is reneging on his support now that conservative groups, such as the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity, oppose them. “Speaker Tillis used to support the film tax credit, but now that the Koch Brothers are against it he’s nowhere to be seen,” said Ben Ray, a Forward North Carolina spokesman.

Hagan, a former state senator, supports the current film incentives, a campaign spokesman said. - News Observer, 6/12/14

Here's a little more info:

The North Carolina Finance Committee voted against an amendment to its version of the state budget Wednesday morning that would have extended the state's film incentives program.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) proposed an amendment to the House budget but it was defeated 20-16. Davis' amendment would have extended tax breaks for movie and television production companies to 2017, reducing a cap on payments from $20 million to $15 million dollars while lowering tax breaks.

"In my heart of hearts, I thought it was going to pass, but it was going to be [a] very, very thin margin – maybe one or two votes at the most," Davis said. "I knew it was a gamble, but it was a gamble we had to take."

Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover) claims House Speaker Thom Tillis is responsible for defeating the amendment.

"The Republican leadership allowed the amendment to be heard in finance this morning, sent a message last night to supporters, including our own Rep. Ted Davis that we were going to have success this morning," Hamilton said. "Then, when the committee meeting was going on, it became very clear, very quickly that people were working the room and turning votes from aye to nay."

She said the 4,200 people who work in the film industry should feel betrayed by Tillis.

"There are thousands of employees in District 18 and they certainly do feel double crossed," Hamilton said. "If I were in their position, I would as well."

Hamilton said there are several other incentives programs used in the state to attract business and development.

"What I find most troubling is this incentive benefits Southeastern North Carolina the most and it seems to be the one that the Republican party most wants to eliminate the most," she said.

Davis said he is pursuing other options outside the budget process to extend the film incentives, but would not provide details about his strategy.  - WCET, 6/11/14

Tillis claims he didn't sabotage this effort but I call bull shit and here's why:

The amendment made in committee failed 20-16, sparking a tit-for-tat between Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte and Wilmington Democrat Susi Hamilton, who has been out front pushing for renewal of the film incentives. Hamilton claimed a Tillis staffer worked the room in opposition of the amendment, which Tillis denied.

Davis said on the House floor Thursday evening that he had “learned a lot about the process” during that committee meeting and “I respect the process.” Davis said that while he preferred his earlier proposal, “I also am a realist and I realize there are not a sufficient amount of folks in the House to pass the film credits as they now stand.”

Under the Senate’s plan, the program would have a $20 million budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year allocated from two state reserve funds. According to legislative staff, that compares to the roughly $60 million in tax credits paid out during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Also, film companies would have to spend more to qualify for that 25 percent rebate and payout caps would lower significantly.

For a major motion picture feature, the spending threshold would increase to $10 million and the grant payout would be capped at $5 million. For television production, companies would have to spend at least $1 million per episode to qualify, with a payout cap also of $5 million. For commercials, a qualifying company would have to spend at least $500,000, with a payout cap of $250,000. - Star News, 6/12/14

And Tillis' response to Hamilton's accusations made him look like an asshole:

When Hamilton called the surprise rejection of the amendment a “double-cross” and “betrayal” of the film community, House Speaker Thom Tillis shot back – telling a StarNews reporter that Hamilton’s remarks were “borne out of emotion”.  

Representative Susi Hamilton:

"I’m not going to lower myself to that level.  It’s not something he would say about a male legislator in that circumstance, I'm quite confident."

Bill Vassar, Executive Vice President of EUE / Screen Gems, one of the largest private stakeholders in the film industry in the state, also expressed shock at the Finance Committee’s rejection of the Davis amendment.  Vassar fired off a strongly-worded statement that ends with:  “It’s clear we are not welcome to invest our company’s money, time, and talent here any longer.”

Hamilton says it’s likely that someone will put forth a budget amendment on the House floor addressing film incentives before the House budget is finalized. - HQR, 6/12/14

And the NC film industry isn't falling for Tillis' bull shit:

Some of the recent movies and TV shows filmed in the state include "Hunger Games," "Homeland," "Eastbound & Down," "Sleepy Hollow," and "Iron Man 3."

Movies and TV shows aren't the only things filmed in the state. Political ads are as well, and members of the N.C. film industry are fighting back against the legislators who took the first step to end the tax credits in Wednesday's vote. Organizer Frank Eaton called for a boycott of political ad productions for those who plan to vote against the interests of the state's film industry.

"I don't want the politicians who voted against NC film jobs to be able to find a crew for their ads within 500 miles of their districts," said organizer Frank Eaton in a written release. "World class film professionals live here because of the presence of the industry these republicans just killed."

The release goes on to state that many of the legislators against the film incentives will begin shooting ads this summer for November's elections. The list include U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis and the boycott would involve everyone from cameramen to boom operators and grips, most of whom are hired locally.

Eaton states that he hopes the boycott will show people what a state without a film industry looks like. He goes on to say in the release that he hopes the boycott participants will still be a presence at shoots, if need be.

"We'll shadow GOP shoots if we have to," said Eaton. "Every time the cameras roll on a Thom Tillis ad, I want an out-of-work boom operator with a leaf blower right off camera."

The ad boycott is being organized partially through a Facebook group. - WNCN, 6/12/14

Of course the State House passed a water down version of the bill:

The state House passed an amendment proposed by Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) that changes North Carolina's film incentive tax credit to a Grant Fund, similar to a proposal that has already passed the state Senate.

Unlike the proposal introduced by Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) that allocated $20 million for the Film and Entertainment Grant Fund, Davis' proposal allocates only $5. Davis said during the debate on the floor that the simple allocation is enough to "keep the issue on the table" when members of the House and Senate go into conference to negotiate the differences between each chamber's spending plans.

Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick), who says he would rather lawmakers extend the current film incentive tax credit, raised concerns with Davis' proposal, but also seemed resigned to the GOP majority not favoring that approach. WNCN, 6/12/14

But this whole ordeal just shows how slimy Tillis is.  I have zero doubt that he sent his staffer to kill this proposal and instead get a watered down version of the bill to make him look like he can get budgets passed.  But here's something else you should know about how Tillis handles budget issues:

Gov. Pat McCrory is likely to favor the House’s plan. It includes a number of his priorities, including a so-called “puppy mill” provision added late Thursday by a House lawmaker who partnered with First Lady Ann McCrory to bring attention to the issue.

The House also added a film grant program to the budget as a place-holder, meaning House and Senate lawmakers will need to determine how much to give the program. One of the sponsors of the House amendment said the program would kill the film industry but acknowledged in the seven-hour debate that it was as far as his Republican colleagues would go.

Two major outstanding questions: What do lawmakers do with Medicaid? The House and Senate disagreed on the potential Medicaid overrun costs, who should manage the agency and who should be covered by the care. And what about pay raises for teachers and state employees? The House and Senate found unique ways to pay for it and provided much different salary hikes.

Asked earlier this week whether the House and Senate should negotiate in public this time, Tillis said no. - News Observer, 6/13/14

Tillis really has proven to be a scumbag politician on a number of levels.  This is one of the biggest and most expensive races this year and the money is pouring in:

Two groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum are diving into the race with big-money efforts targeted at crucial voter groups: young people and women.

Planned Parenthood plans to invest nearly $3 million to re-elect Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan. That's more than it's spending in any other state.

And Generation Opportunity, a group financed indirectly by the conservative Koch brothers, is starting an $800,000 campaign Wednesday to mobilize young voters against Hagan.

"We'll probably spend more here than anywhere else," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said before a Charlotte fundraiser Tuesday night. "It reflects not only how important this U.S. Senate seat is but what a leader Kay Hagan has been for women nationwide."

Generation Opportunity, which bills itself as a "millennial advocacy organization," plans TV and online ads aimed at young voters. President Evan Feinberg calls it his group's first foray into "political accountability."

Its 30-second ad seeks to tie Hagan to government spending that it blames for high unemployment among 20-somethings.

Generation Opportunity has gotten almost 86 percent of the money it raised over three years from two Koch-linked nonprofits, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Other ads have criticized the Affordable Care Act. - Charlotte Observer, 6/10/14

The Kochs are trying to dupe younger voters into supporting Tillis and we can't let the happen.  Click here to donate and get involved with Hagan's campaign:
FILE - This April 16, 2014 file photo shows Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. in Durham, N.C. Deciding which party controls the U.S. Senate for the final two years of President Barack Obamaís tenure could come down to women _ both the handful who are running in significant races and the moderate female voters who often tip close elections. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File) ORG XMIT: WX201

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Very good diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, basquebob, Tinfoil Hat, Linda1961

    I really hope it works. I like the idea that Tillis won't get his crappy ads filmed in his state.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:04:07 PM PDT

  •  TBH, no sympathy from me for NC on this (0+ / 0-)

    North Carolina was one of the biggest job-stealers from Hollywood, and cost me and many of my friends a lot of jobs, and in numerous cases their careers. What goes around, comes around.

    "Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail." - My President

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:08:07 PM PDT

    •  I don't think it's fair to blame NC (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tinfoil Hat, Linda1961, here4tehbeer

      (or NY or LA or Ontario or British Columbia, etc.) Blame your politicians.

      When other states began tax credit programs, California scoffed at the idea that production would ever leave Hollywood. When other states began putting a dent in California's output, the state put in halfway incentives that didn't include big-budget features, cable dramas, etc.

      Even now, with the passage of AB1839, it's unlikely CA's going to match New York's incentive package total or have the appeal of Louisiana's no-production-cap.

      The writing's been on the wall for decades now and production companies are going to go where the incentives are if the locations are there. California's come late and lame to the game and its industry has suffered for it.

      I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

      by Crashing Vor on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:28:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The scoring side, at least in LA, is seeing this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crashing Vor

        flight as well - especially in the gaming segment.  Here's a gathering of composers, contractor, producers, etc. discussing the ramifications of a (then) new AFM contract that drove a lot of companies to London and other parts of the world to record their scores.

        From the video description:

        For those involved in the music scoring community here in Los Angeles, we are seeing a great amount of work leave LA for other parts of the world. Orchestral recording in places like London are becoming the #1 choice for film producers and game companies. The reason is that places like London offer “buyout” recording options and Los Angeles and the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) does not. Orchestral recording is becoming so slow in LA that the scoring stages at Fox, Warner Bros and Sony may shut down “within 2 to 5 years” if we don’t do something now. So, along with partners Michael Barry and Noah Gladstone of Cinesamples and Hollywood Scoring – we decided to start the conversation by hosting a meeting. Over 600 professional musicians, orchestrators, engineers and composers turned out to come to the event. Already, the meeting has resulted in a positive catalyst for discussion and we are hopeful this will bring a new positive change to the music scoring community in Los Angeles.
        Here's a dust-up from just a few days ago:
        Videogame composer Austin Wintory has been charged by the American Federation of Musicians with violating musicians-union rules for recording a game score in Texas.

        Wintory faces a maximum $50,000 fine and possible expulsion from the union. He was first notified in January, even before the release of the Viking-themed fantasy game “The Banner Saga,” but decided to go public because he believes he’s been unfairly targeted.


        He points out he has been an active supporter of recording with union musicians in Los Angeles. He insisted on recording his “Captain Abu Raed” film score with AFM musicians in 2007, and he recorded the first iPad game, “Horn,” under union auspices in the summer of 2012 before the union instituted a more restrictive game contract that game publishers refuse to sign.

        The composer initially attempted to record “Banner Saga” with L.A. musicians but found that the revised union contract made it twice as expensive as recording in London as well as adding conditions regarding soundtrack albums and extra fees related to future uses of the music.

        For my own safety, I had to assume you were a bad guy with a gun. Sorry.

        by here4tehbeer on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:25:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have a large number of beta tapes and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I found an old Entertainment Tonight from 1986 or so with a segment on the growing NC film industry (Year Of The Dragon - a film most members here who remembered it would dislike, but I thought it was a good film - was one of the first big budgeted film to be shot there) and producer Dino De Laurentiis specifically said he loved NC because .... wait for it ... it was NON-UNION.

  •  this is the same bullshit happened in NM (3+ / 0-)

    it comes at a fundraiser when some alcoholic pill abusing idiot car salesman with a ton of money says something about the damn liberal hollywood establishment getting all this tax payer money..... because they heard it on the radio

    then a bunch more idiots say the same, or scream it into the phones

    in NM the blowhards on the big limbaugh station covered the state with liberal anti hollywood BS for months because they were instructed to, to help get the republican asshole governor martinez in-- she wasn't going to give your tax dollars to a bunch of hollywood liberals., she'd rather give it to the frackers

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:12:40 PM PDT

    •  New Mexico profited from those jobs. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a poor state, with more than enough problems, but wonderful people, nice climate and scenery. It has been a filming location choice for decades, with many an oater being shot there. Work as extras, as caterers, in the motels/hotels, and much more have been of great benefit to the people.

      BTW, you can't find a better state to work on solar energy replacing much of the fossil fuel use. Dang, they got some sunshine there!

      •  yeah, it makes as much sense as most things republ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The grouch

        licans do.

        my sister in law's in that biz.

        go solar! i have a big south facing window i can block with an array of vertical metal studs from the hardware store that i painted black, behind curtains, and they pump cool air from the floor and shoot hot air out the top. works great, very easy and cheap.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 09:52:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another thing that pissed me off was AFP's direct (4+ / 0-)

    involvement running radio ads. From their celebratory press release:

    RALEIGH – Americans for Prosperity – North Carolina today applauded a vote in the State House Finance Committee to defeat an amendment to the state budget to extend a tax subsidy program for film production in North Carolina. Earlier this week Americans for Prosperity launched radio ads in Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington, opposing the film subsidies.

    Representative Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) offered an amendment to the state budget to extend the tax breaks for movie and television production companies to 2017. The amendment failed on a 16-20 vote.

    “Legislators in the House have made an excellent budgeting decision with this vote, and show that they are being stewards of taxpayer money,” said Donald Bryson, North Carolina Deputy State Director for Americans for Prosperity. “If the state is going to spend money, then it should spend it on core government functions, such as education and transportation. Subsidizing film productions in North Carolina should not be a function of state government and I doubt that there is a taxpayer in North Carolina that would disagree with that.”

    Bryson continued, “We are very happy with this vote. Perhaps one day we can move past special interest incentives and carve outs from state government. This key Committee vote is a step in the right direction on that path.”

    If memory serves, North Carolina was one of the first states to offer a comprehensive tax credit / incentive program, and the positive effects were immediate.  

    Now, thanks to the Kochsuckers at AFP and their short-sighted puppets in the NC legislature, the negative fallout will likely be just as immediate.  Just ask Michigan.

    NC has great locations, great crews and great support (and great BBQ) - but that ain't nearly enough to keep an already fickle industry from going across the border.


    For my own safety, I had to assume you were a bad guy with a gun. Sorry.

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:16:44 PM PDT

    •  Unbelievable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      “We are very happy with this vote. Perhaps one day we can move past special interest incentives and carve outs from state government. This key Committee vote is a step in the right direction on that path.”
      Move past "special interest incentives" and AFP is completely FUCKED, and not just in NC. Sometimes the undying gall of this bunch just astonishes me to the point of puking.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 08:40:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No (0+ / 0-)
    And Tillis' response to Hamilton's accusations made him look like an asshole:
    Tillis being an asshole makes Tillis look like an asshole.  Nothing new about that.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 08:37:30 AM PDT

  •  Sorry -- I oppose corporate welfare (0+ / 0-)

    Even for the film industry. We have way too much of this already in NC.

    In Alamance County, where we lost over 50 classroom jobs last year, we are spending millions to buy land to give it free to Walmart so they can build a warehouse.

    I guess the long term answer to this problem would be for Congress to ban these kinds of incentives under its power to regulate interstate commerce.

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