Scotts Mircle Grow CEO Jim Hagedorn’s Company Received Big Bucks from Third Frontier
I’ve received grief for years from Republicans for attacking the Third Frontier program, ever since my days at my OSU student newspaper. Today, with Strickland’s new TV ad, which is surprisingly positive, and features Scotts Miracle Grow CEO Jim Hagedorn (He can’t even vote in Ohio!) we see how handouts and corporate welfare are uncomfortably close to politics.
While Gov. Taft was still in office and the 3rd Frontier offered major dollars to Scott’s Miracle Grow:
MARYSVILLE, Ohio, April 4, 2006 — The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, the global leader in the consumer lawn and garden industry, was named the recipient of a two-year grant from the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC) for the design, development and manufacture of new types of landscape products from sustainable industrial and farm byproducts.
The Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC) is a research initiative that integrates academia and industry toward the development of renewable specialty chemicals, polymers/plastics and advanced materials. The OBIC brings together Ohio’s two largest industries, the agricultural and specialty- chemical/advanced-materials sectors, toward product development for the commercialization of bio-products. The Center draws on the research capabilities at The Ohio State University and the Battelle Memorial Institute.
“The OBIC creates a collaborative platform for the generation of innovative solutions serving the targeted industries and in-turn, the economic well-being of Ohio,” said Ray Guerry, chief technology officer of ScottsMiracle-Gro. “We recognized from its start the valuable goals of the OBIC, goals only natural for our involvement. Through this grant we are gratified by OBIC confidence in Scotts’ commitment to their mission.”
Headquartered at The Ohio State University, the OBIC was funded in 2005 by the Ohio Department of Development through an $11.5 million Wright Center of Innovation (Third Frontier) award, leveraged with matching funds from external partners.
And if that wasn’t enough, in September 2009, the Strickland administration offered the multi-billion dollar company an extra $500,000 in handouts:
Scotts has committed to investing $1.4 million in the facility, creating 63 jobs over three years, and maintaining operations in Orrville for at least 12 years as part of an incentive package approved by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.
State assistance includes two Job Creation Tax Credits, two Workforce Guarantee grants and a Roadwork Development grant to the city of Marysville, where Scotts is headquartered, totaling nearly $500,000.
So why wouldn’t the CEO of a company who received so many handouts not star in an ad for Gov. Strickland?
This is what happens when Government is too big and tries to do what venture capitalists and banks are far better at. Instead of looking at returns on investment and properly assessing risk, we deal with politically connected companies.
And just in case John Kasich wins in November, Scotts Miracle Grow gave $10,000 to the Republican Governors Association. Because they would certainly hate for the corporate welfare tit to dry up.