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Ben Bradlee was a famous editor of the Washington Post during the Watergate era and the Pentagon Papers. He was immortalized in the movies “All the President’s Men” and, most recently, “The Post” featuring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. So, it is safe to say that Mr. Bradley knew a thing or two about the newspaper industry.
With that in mind, let’s focus on the fact that Mr. Bradley stated that, when you open a newspaper and see the headline, the first thing that should come to mind is, “What the hell is this? I’ve got to read this article…”
Another important tenet that Mr. Bradlee held near and dear was obtaining all the correct facts so that the reader knows what is being reported is the truth.
With those two tidbits of information about Mr. Bradlee in mind, we want to point out the Dundalk Eagle’s latest story on Tradepoint Atlantic. We believe is is necessary to shine a spotlight on the grossly inaccurate statements that are based on political spin and corporate propaganda rather than the truth.
Before we begin, we want to make it clear that we do not wish to discredit or embarrass anyone associated with the Dundalk Eagle. Hopefully, we will encourage them to do some research before publishing a story.
This is not the first time we have brought the “print the political spin” issue to the attention of the Eagle’s editors. We simply keep prodding hoping that the truth will be told.
First and foremost, here is an article in which a corporate executive at Tradepoint Atlantic was interviewed.
Now it’s one thing to make a typo, but to let it go uncorrected seems horrible for a media outlet, especially when it has the impact of this statement:
On July 25, the company launched a new initiative, dubbed “Revitalize Sparrows Point” to roll out their plan, which includes seeking up to $150 in public financing in the form of tax increment financing (TIF).
Here lies the problem. For the average reader who knows nothing about what’s taking place down at Tradepoint Atlantic, the sum of $150 may seem insignificant. However, the real amount being sought is $150 million. That amount is not so insignificant.
We checked the Eagle’s Facebook page to see if there was a correction or retraction about that grossly misleading figure, but there was nothing.
That is just one example of how the Eagle’s coverage is misleading or, from our standpoint, not properly researched.
There are more, such as this disturbing and inaccurate quote from the article:
According to Aaron Tomarchio, senior vice president at Tradepoint Atlantic, the roll out of the “Revitalize Sparrows Point” initiative is part of the company’s efforts to be transparent.
“Since the inception of this project, we have always been upfront and open with the community with our plans,” he noted. “This effort is no different.”
As you can clearly see in this Post article, there seems to be a disconnect between what TPA is willing to give up as opposed as what they’re trying to hide.
And what about this quote from Aaron Tomarchio, senior vice president at Tradepoint Atlantic, that is just blatantly false:
“We believe that there is a role for government to play in helping to make sure needed public infrastructure such as roadways, water and sewer lines are in place,” he continued.
The question we would like to ask Mr. Tamarchio is a simple one. What happens when a pipe breaks on a homeowners property. Who is responsible for getting the repair done and who pays for said repair? The answer to that is simple–it’s the homeowner. We have asked the same question over and over. Why are the taxpayers of this state and county being forced to pay for infrastructure upgrades for a private corporation?
In order to make our point valid with some documentation, here is a Forbes article that you may find interesting. After reading this quote, one might take a strong stance against Mr. Tomarchio’s comment:
It says that three-quarters of all state economic development subsidies went to just 965 corporations since the beginning of the study in 1976. The Fortune 500 corporations alone accounted for more than 16,000 subsidy awards, worth $63 billion – mostly in the form of tax breaks.
Where is the public outrage over this corporate welfare?
What is especially egregious about the Eagle’s article is the lack of any information concerning the two billionaires who want to ingratiate their bottom line with our tax money: Baltimore Ravens majority owner Stephen Bisciotti and his cousin, Jim Davis.
Should we hand TPA a sign and a tin cup that says “begging for corporate welfare?”
The Eagle also talks about Under Armour, one of the alleged tenants announced to have occupied a slice of TPA’s property. As we reported earlier, UA has not signed a lease with TPA.
The Eagle also egregiously speaks of TPA’s $48 million investment into the ongoing cleanup of the formerly contaminated site. According to MDE officials, TPA has invested only $7 million of the $40 million earmarked for the Superfund cleanup site.
By the way, folks, the estimated cleanup cost for the site is $1.5 billion.
Tomarchio also lamented about TPA’s risk of purchasing the former RG steel site due to the Superfund cleanup status. Simply put, if you buy a property for $110 million that was previously sold for $1.2 billion, then you should expect a certain inherent risk when you practically pay pennies on the dollar.
Did we mention the approximately $300 million TPA made from dismantling the former steel site and selling the scrap? Neither did they…
Before we close on this chapter for now, but we could not help include a grandiose statement made by the late Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, a statement that was later pontificated by then executive aide (and current County Executive) Don Mohler as published in the Baltimore Sun:
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz expressed confidence “that Tradepoint Atlantic will soon be the place where over 10,000 people will come to work each day.”
Dishonorable mention goes to our very own inadequate and superficial Councilman Todd Crandell who made sure that his bill, 86 – 15 kept the public from having any input into TPA’s business.
Those workers Mr. Mohler mentioned are mostly – out-of-state contractors – and whose tax dollars are reallocated to the state in which the worker lives. Another well fabricated myth produced by TPA and our delusional county executive.
The truth to that statement is there are only around 3,000 current workers, and a recent study shows that only 2% of those employees are from our area.
In closing, we simply ask that, going forward, the editors at The Dundalk Eagle at least do their homework before going to print.