Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue said this week that incumbent Governor Brian Kemp provided state-backed financial incentives to an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer tied to George Soros.
Bloomberg reported this week that Soros does invest in the EV company Rivian.
Perdue, in a statement, said the deal “is nothing more than a scheme by Kemp to promote himself in an election year at Georgians’ expense.”
“Kemp thought he could get away with this under the guise of ‘economic development,’ but all he is doing here is selling us out and lining George Soros’s pockets,” Perdue said.
“Real economic development is straightforward. Growth should be organic, and the local community and its leaders should be involved in the process. Obviously, that is not the case here. Many members of the local community have expressed major concerns with having California-based, Soros-funded Rivian in their backyards. Like a typical 20-year career politician, Kemp is ignoring locals’ concerns and trying to cut them out of the process.”
Members of Kemp’s staff, as well as Rivian officials, did not return The Georgia Star News’ requests for comment on Wednesday.
The Rivian company “is backed by a long list of institutional investors and Wall Street stalwarts, including Soros Fund Management,” Bloomberg reported.
“The firm — which also participated in several private funding rounds before the IPO — owns more than 2 percent of Rivian’s shares outstanding,” according to the website.
“That would make Soros the 10th-largest shareholder. Stakes held by the likes of T. Rowe Price Group Inc., BlackRock Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., among others, are significantly greater.”
Georgia officials recently announced that Rivian will construct a $5 billion EV manufacturing plant in Morgan and Walton counties, although no one knows how much money the company accepted in government incentives.
Members of the Washington, D.C.-based Good Jobs First recently said they were concerned over how Georgia officials have thus far handled the matter.
According to its website, Good Jobs First is a policy resource center that promotes corporate and government accountability in economic development.
“Georgia announced that Rivian will build a very large vehicle and battery plant east of Atlanta, but has yet to disclose promised incentives (more than $1 billion is likely),” said Good Jobs First Executive Director Greg LeRoy in an email to followers.
Rivian officials said on the company’s website in December that the new plant will hire more than 7,500 people and produce up to 400,000 vehicles per year. They said they will start construction this summer and start manufacturing vehicles in 2024.
“Governments are suddenly throwing billions in subsidies at new EV assembly and battery factories. Uncle Sam, as usual, is MIA on industrial policy, so the ‘economic war among the states’ is in overdrive,” LeRoy wrote, adding Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, North Carolina, and Kansas are also using subsidies to attract EV manufacturers.
LeRoy warned that states are budgeting billions to construct EV charging stations even though the potential loss of older jobs in auto manufacturing could result in fewer new jobs and fewer tax revenues.
In 2018, The Daily Caller reported that EVs aren’t popular and only people with six-figure incomes generally own them.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star and The Georgia Star News. Follow Chris on Facebook, Twitter, Parler, and GETTR. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “George Soros” by Niccolò Caranti. CC BY-SA 3.0.