Connecticut State Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney, eager to halt a possible relocation of GE headquarters from his state to ours, blasted what he apparently sees as the South’s dearth of cultural opportunities and dismal quality of life.
“I think it would be difficult for them to find an equivalent quality of life anywhere than where they are now in Connecticut,” Looney told the Hartford Courant.
GE is considering a move due to “increased taxes – specifically, the unitary tax, which affects major companies with operations in multiple states and which the legislature passed in June — and what it calls an unfriendly business climate,” the Courant reported. Atlanta is among new possible destinations but Looney told the Courant he doesn’t see GE coming here.
Evidently unaware of destinations such as the Atlanta Opera, the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Piedmont Park, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Atlanta History Center, the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Marcus Jewish Community Center, the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony, the Georgia Aquarium, the College Football Hall of Fame, Zoo Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park, not to mention the AJC Decatur Book Festival – the largest independent book festival in the country – Looney sounded alarmed that GE would consider moving its people to such a cultural wasteland.
“If they moved to the South, there are issues ranging from cultural amenities to quality of education to the whole range of options that lead to top-notch quality of life in Connecticut,” he said.
For good measure, he decided to blast Magnolia State in addition to the Peach State: “If cost were the only factor in decisions, the whole world would be beating a path to Mississippi.”