The interim head of North Carolina’s business recruiting efforts is blaming the state’s public records law for the loss of a large jobs deal that instead went to Texas.
But the two states have similar laws, and both allow the public to see details about economic development proposals once a deal is announced.
Richard Lindenmuth, the head of a proposed public-private entity to run the state’s economic development efforts, told the Triangle Business Journal that Texas had an advantage over North Carolina when it came to wooing Toyota officials because of public record laws.
Charlotte narrowly lost out on a bid for the proposal, which will move 4,000 jobs to a Toyota corporate campus in Plano, Texas, according to the Charlotte Business Journal. Texas is offering $40 million in incentives, according to a press release from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s office.
“Why would a CEO ever let us know where they are looking if they are subject to public records,” Lindenmuth said, according to an interview with the Triangle Business Journal. “Texas knew, but we didn’t. We can’t even have an open, frank discussion about everything.”
It’s unclear what Lindenmuth meant by his comments. A call requesting comment from the state’s commerce department was not immediately returned.
But there’s little difference between the public records laws of the two states when it comes to economic development deals.