Strip-mall subsidy secrecy enters realm of absurd

I talked with state Sens. David Blount, D-Jackson, and Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville. They’re typically on opposite ends of the political and policy spectrum. But both agree the “cultural retail” subsidies are wrong.

McDaniel said: “The government shouldn’t be in the position of picking winners and losers … What about the other malls in the area?”

Blount noted the program has taxpayers in Pelahatchie, Jackson, Byram and other areas around the metro subsidizing harm to their own cities’ tax base and revenue and hurting their local retailers.

And as for the secrecy of the deal, McDaniel said, “I think full transparency in regard to how state taxpayer money is spent should be required … I find it difficult to see what the confidential data would be regarding a strip mall.”