June 3, 2009

From the Sore Losers’ File: Lee Fisher on NCR’s Announced Departure From Ohio

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:58 pm

Only a bunch that doesn’t have a clue about how the real world operates would fail to recognize how completely pathetic this reaction to NCR’s decision to leave Ohio is:

Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher said he and Gov. Ted Strickland were “extremely disappointed” about NCR’s decision to relocate.

Fisher said repeated requests to NCR’s senior management to discuss the company’s plans went unanswered, and that the state was not given a “meaningful opportunity to negotiate.”

Ohio had offered NCR a package of incentives worth about $31 million dollars, Fisher said. He added that Ohio “could have matched or exceeded” the $60 million Georgia put up, if the company had been more willing to communicate.

In other words, Lee wanted to know what the other guy’s price was before he put in his own bid.

Uh, sorry Mr. Fisher, in a competitive bid, as opposed to the rigged bids so often involved in government contracts, you don’t get to know the other guy’s price. Too bad, so sad. This forces you to put your best foot forward. In this case, you stumbled badly, not just at the last minute, but for years before that.

And while we’re at it, Lee, Ted, Rhine McLin, and others — A company whose relationship with the political class has become tenuous, as apparently became the case between NCR and the state and local governments with which it dealt, has no automatic obligation to let you know that a bidding process is even taking place. Stop whining, and get it through your thick heads that as long as the people and businesses conduct themselves within the law, government is supposed to be their servant, not their master. The preponderance of the responsibility for keeping the relationship with NCR alive and constructive was on the governments involved, and it failed. Part of the responsibility for that failure would appear to lie with absentee State Representative, now absentee State Senator, Jon Husted.

Now for the coup de grace from a very sore loser:

“This was simply a unilateral decision by senior executives,” he (Fisher) said, calling the (sic) NCR’s disregard for the community in Dayton a “shameless irresponsibility.”

No Mr. Fisher. Making a company-bashing statement that responsibility-averse 2010 Democratic U.S. Senate Primary voters will lap up — a statement that will likely cause other Buckeye State businesses to wonder if enduring its business-hostile political climate is worth it — is shamelessly irresponsible. Trying to achieve the best long-term returns for its shareholders by leaving Ohio for a more hospitable state, as NCR will do, is, sadly for Ohioans, and especially Daytonians, looking more responsible with each passing day.

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4 Comments

  1. Some nerve. No “meaningful opportunity” would have changed the fact that Ohio’s political and economic climate toward business stinks and there is no meaningful hope that it will change in the near future. Typical democrat, treat businesses like crap and then whine when they stop asking for more abuse.

    A more mature response would have been for Fisher to recognize NCR’s responsibility to it’s shareholders, workers and customers to locate where the best opportunities for profit and growth reside, admit he tried to keep them in Ohio on the cheap with as low and lazy an offer as possible, and congratulate the people of Atlanta for their gain and the state of Georgia for putting their money where their mouth is.

    Comment by zf — June 3, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

  2. Maybe if we had a permanent Development Director, rather than:

    1. one who left to run for office
    2. one who left to pay his taxes

    businesses would return Ohio’s calls.

    Pathetic. Thanks for the posting

    Comment by Marty Warren — June 3, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

  3. It’s funny that in today’s Dispatch, Citibank adding 1000+ jobs was on the front page, while NCR pulling out 1200 was on A-6 (http://dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2009/06/03/ap_NCR_move.ART_ART_06-03-09_A6_AQE2CNB.html?sid=101).

    Interestingly, Gov. Mulligan and Fisher were caught flat-footed, and the “reporters” that collaborated on the story from the AP, The Dispatch, and Dayton Daily News reported, “NCR is eligible for several tax credits and incentives in Georgia, but state officials (My note: from OH or GA?) weren’t certain what the total package would be worth. Messages seeking comment were left with NCR.”

    However, the Atlanta Business Chronicle was able to find “…Alison Tyrer, a spokesperson with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (i.e. Lee Fisher’s GA equivalent), said she became aware of efforts to bring NCR to Georgia a few months ago.” She enumerated the plan for a story published yesterday in the Atlanta Business Chronicle (http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2009/06/01/daily22.html?ana=yfcpc):

    “She said total incentives in Georgia for NCR will exceed $60 million dollars. NCR’s total investment in the state will be $30 million, plus an annual payroll in excess of $150 million, enabling the ATM maker to take advantage of the Mega Job Tax Credit, according to Georgia officials. The Mega Job Tax credit is worth $56.8 million dollars, Tyrer said. She said, even with the incentives, Georgia will still make $49 million in ‘tax profit,’ so-to-speak.”

    She also added, “Tyrer would not confirm or deny if Georgia is currently working to attract Teradata Corp. — an NCR Corp. spin-off, headquartered near Dayton, but with a strong presence in Georgia. Miami Township, Ohio-based Teradata (NYSE: TDC) employs about 6,400 employees globally employees (sic) and 400 in the Dayton area.”

    The Media excuse machine for the continued incompetence of this Administration is now in full-scale CYA mode.

    Comment by Joe C. — June 3, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

  4. #3, you don’t understand —
    - They wanted the company to say how much they were saving so they follow up and ask how they could be so mean to embarrass them. NCR wisely didn’t take the bait.
    - They didn’t want to ask the GA DOED for the answer because a) they knew they had it, b) they would look like fools trying to make the GA govt. look like the bad guy.
    - The state officials who didn’t know the answer could be anyone not in the Ohio or Georgia DOEDs, i.e., someone they knew wouldn’t have an answer.

    Comment by TBlumer — June 3, 2009 @ 10:38 pm

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