Maryland and `House of Cards' Butt Heads

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March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Maryland State Delegate William Frick comments on "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey lobbying Congress for TV production tax breaks in Maryland. He speaks with Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

Make "house of cards." maybe we should start with a little bit of a back story.

They have filmed seasons one and two in maryland and it has been a great partnership.

27 million dollars combined for seasons one and two and we have been promised another $4 million for season three.

In connections with negotiations , the production company said the governor a letter that we thought went too far.

It threatened to pack up, break down the sets, the stages, and move if we did not meet their demands.

It is not everyday you get threatened by frank underwood.

We felt like it deserved a strong response.

You are giving them tax credits to begin with and they want more.

You guys are saying, enough is enough.

We hope they will be back for season three and i expect the negotiation to move forward.

With such a hard-line response, we thought it deserved and underwood-style response.

We propose the most frank-mike option, which was threatening to use imminent domain powers.

Intellectual property as well.

Edmonton will go to conference committee and will reach a number with them that will keep the production in maryland.

Kevin spacey, the actor who is the star, who has been lobbying you guys as well.

There are other states that offer lots of tax benefits and they could move elsewhere.

You guys benefit by having them there.

It does create jobs.

There is a trickle-down effect.

That is absolutely true and we hope they will be back and we are not asking them to come back for free.

The program is authorized for seven point $5 million in the next fiscal budget.

At some point the state has to be willing to not negotiate too far.

This is not our money, these are taxpayer dollars and we need to be prudent stewards of their dollars.

Are you just having fun, art imitating life?

Do you think this will hold any water?

Legally, it could.

I do not expect that to be in the law at the end of the day.

It is not every day you get to have a back-and-forth threat with a character like frank underwood.

We went with the most dramatic response and ultimately, we will be working in good faith to do what is in the best interest of the taxpayers.

One of my favorite things when there is a dispute between two parties, the public statements that we get.

We dig at a public statement from the production company and it says we have had wonderful experience filming the past two seasons in the state of maryland and love shooting there.

It is going to be more cost efficient if they do not have to pack everything and move elsewhere.

How do you expect this to play out?

I hope it will play out with season three shooting in maryland and hopefully season 4 and season five.

I won't give you any spoilers.

You guys do not want to lose them, right?

This is income for your state.

These are real jobs.

At the same time, these are taxpayer dollars and we are in a tight budget situation.

We need to be prudent and responsible and we need to make sure we are not just throwing money at things because it is hollywood.

We need to be doing things for the right reasons.

How far will you take this?

You are putting out a legal position with imminent domain and saying he will take their equipment.

How far will you take this?

We have put that language in the budget.

I think it is likely we will be able to move forward with a negotiated process and we will not actually have to use the most powerful tool, the most dramatic tools.

It is something that nobody wants to use, those weapons of last resort.

Were you uncomfortable having to go to that position?

Not uncomfortable.

Given the letter that sent us that seems almost gangster-like in its overtone, i was comfortable using strongly worded responses.

Hopefully, at the end of the day, they will see it is in their interest.

They have already received $27 million.

We have great crews and great sets.

It would cause a delay if they had to move on.

Ultimately, i think they will find a way to stay here in maryland.

You feel like this is exactly what kevin spacey's character would do?

As a washington manipulative powerbroker?

That is frank underwood, always looks for leverage.

This is a way to grab that leverage.

After we put the amendment on the budget companion bill, i realized there was a scene in which frank advocated seizing some power plants.

It really did have some parallels.

Do you think there is a middle ground that you guys will come to terms with?

Absolutely, and we hope we do.

Coming up, we will be speaking with the chief

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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