Life Imitates Art as Spacey Lobbies Congress

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March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Actor Kevin Spacey lobbied for TV production tax breaks in Maryland. Bloomberg's Phil Mattingly and Edmund Lee comment on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

What is he looking for?

$18.5 million in tax credits?

There are going to the maryland state legislature and they try to incentivize the film and tv industry to come in and they do that with tax breaks.

Right now, maryland has $11.5 million -- i'm sorry, seven $.5 million and they're trying to increase that.

The entity that gets the most of it, "house of cards." it is like a lobbying battle straight from the show.

I think kevin spacey has a certain card he can play as well and that he is who he is.

He commands a lot of respect in washington because people love that show.

Does that make him the ultimate lobbyist?

The show made washington sexy.

That was not an easy thing to do.

He's a powerbroker behind the scene guys.

They think of themselves as these power brokers.

The public does not know how hard and interesting it is and he has made it apparent to them.

It carries a lot of weight.

He's trying to wine and dine them.

It's an interesting ploy.

It is art imitating life, back and forth.

How much money is really at stake here, phil?

What does this mean for maryland's economy?

This show is exactly why states try to incentivize tvs and movies to come in.

That show is entirely based in baltimore even though the show was supposed to be in the sea, it shows all baltimore landmarks, big money, big reduction in costs to come into the state.

For maryland, it is extremely important and that is why you see lawmakers willing to work with them and lawmakers going to these events with kevin spacey.

They understand it has a direct impact on the local economy.

$150 million is what they are spending their on the local economy and that has a domino effect in a positive way.

At the gets good traction.

It only means more hollywood productions, more jobs, more money, better for the local economy.

This is something that the industry overall values and looks at pretty carefully.

You have shows tape in ireland because they have a really good tax incentive.

Canada as well.

Like that's right, vancouver.

New york is tough but they've been pretty good about offering tax breaks as well because it increases tourism, commerce, people coming in.

Smaller states like maryland, to get a piece like that is important.

Who has the upper hand here, phil?

If we are going to consider this a horse race, is a kevin spacey?

Ultimately, they don't want to lose the show.

It's a great story to read there that we put together and they pushed this a little too far.

The studio representative from the group that runs house of cards sent a letter to the legislature basically saying if you take away the tax credit that we are packing away and leaving, and of story and they were deeply offended like that.

It is like they were playing hard ball little too hard.

As a couple days left in the legislative session and they are aware of the importance of having the show in the area to the local economy even more than kevin spacey sways lawmakers and votes.

It's all about the art of negotiation.

Edmund lee and sale mattingly, thank you very much.

Coming up, let the games begin.

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