HQ2, ISIS and When Donald was Just a Greenmailer

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Greetings Roundup-ers! It’s day two of the Murphy Administration, and if you’re sick of reading about every twist and turn of the Dr. James Kauffman case, this is the website for you.

In realer news, Amazon announced the 20 finalists for its second headquarters (“HQ2”) and Atlantic City didn’t make the cut, but Philadelphia did and so did Newark.

Does anyone else think it’s a little gross–this spectacle of great American cities falling all over themselves to see who can give the biggest handouts to a multi-national corporation with a market cap of $622 billion?

In fact, critics of corporate bidding wars have called the process of playing states and cities off each other a “race to the bottom” but did you know there were legal attempts to re-level the playing field? In 2004, the Sixth Circuit Court of U.S.Appeals in Cincinnati ruled “investment tax credits” were unconstitutional, but DaimlerChrysler and its clients patrons co-defendants, the State of Ohio, appealed to the Supreme Court which dismissed the case for the lame-o reason that plaintiffs lacked standing.

Meanwhile, your property taxes go up and up and up and everyone’s telling you we’re broke.

Anyhow. CityLab has a nice summary of the legal case against tax credits here.

The ISIS Commander Next Door
Last week The Atlantic magazine published an in-depth profile of an American who has risen to become a “senior commander of the Islamic State and one of the faces of the group’s recruitment efforts” referring to him as “the son of an Albanian-American pizza-shop owner from New Jersey,” and this week Ted Greenberg at NBC tells us where in New Jersey the guy’s from. Zulfi Hoxha–shown “beheading Kurdish soldiers” in ISIS propaganda videos–is from Margate. Crazy.

The Old Golden Nugget
Yesterday, Route 40 published a neat little story on pieces of The Atlantic Club falling off the side of the building and landing on Pacific Avenue, etc. and city inspections director Dale Finch said he’d send someone over. Yay us!

Fun fact: The Golden Nugget (the old name for The Atlantic Club) was the collateral–or whatever you call it–for Michael Milken’s first major junk bond deal, according to David Cay Johnston’s book Temples of Chance (1992), which we’re currently reading.

DCJ says Steve Wynn borrowed the money to build “an elegant fantasy vision of Victoriana on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.” But the Nugget was a great success and Ballys eventually offered Wynn $440 million to buy the place, essentially as a way of blocking a hostile takeover by Donald Trump, who was then just an innocent greenmailer and not President of the United States at all.

It all happened here.





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