Good column from Will Bunch. Can’t complain about the $30 million in state money for legitimate expenditures on the subway concourse expansion and public space improvements, but why are we giving Comcast $3000 per job (for a total of $4.5 million) for jobs they were going to relocate anyway?
Yes, $4.5 million is a drop in the bucket of our $28 billion state budget, but recall that we only got $10 million statewide for dedicated bike and pedestrian improvements funding in the transportation funding bill. Let’s make that $14.5 million:
You might have guessed that I’m talking about Comcast’s No. 3 executive David L. Cohen, the former top aide to then-mayor Ed Rendell who has hosted megabucks fundraisers for Obama in his home. But just last February, Cohen surprised some by saying that he expected to support Republican Gov. Corbett and hosting an event that raised $200,000 for Corbett’s stumbling campaign.
The other day, Corbett came back to help Cohen’s cable giant announce that it was going to build a second skyscraper in Philadelphia, the tallest building between New York and Atlanta. (Full disclosure, the development firm on the project is led by one of the owners of this newspaper.) And to help Comcast — which made more than $12 billion in profits its last full reporting year of 2012 — get the job done, the governor came bearing gifts — $30 million in construction grants and $4.5 million for job creation. A cynic might say that a $34.5 million return on a $200,000 investment in Corbett is a pretty good return.