Francis Underwood meet C. William Frick.
The fictional Congressional whip with machiavellian ambitions of taking over the presidency collided yesterday with the Maryland House of Delegates parliamentarian with ambitions of being attorney general over the issue of expanding tax credits for film and television production in the state.
Earlier this year, Media Rights Capital sent a letter (posted below) to House Speaker Michael E. Busch and other state officials that more than suggested the company, which produces the Netflix hit show House of Cards, would move to another state if the credits were not expanded.
“In the meantime I wanted you to be aware that we are required to look at other states in which to film on the off chance that the legislation does not pass or does not cover the amount of tax credits for which we would qualify,” Charlie Goldstein, senior vice president for Media Rights Capital, wrote. “I’m sure you can understand that we would not be responsible financiers and a successful production company if we did not have viable options available.”
The Senate has passed an expanded tax credit package, adding $11 million to the proposed $7.5 million that was to be available in the coming year.
But Frick, D-Montgomery, didn’t like the threatening tone of the letter and decided to play hardball. He introduced his own amendment allowing the state to use eminent domain to seize the offices, sets and intellectual property (the actual shows and movies) of any company that receives $10 million or more in state tax credits.
That means House of Cards.
Frick said he asked himself “What would Frank Underwood do?” (audio above).