by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
WRAL reported on North Carolina’s elusive efforts to recruit Apple to the state. Even though Apple announced they were placing their new campus in Texas, WRAL’s investigative reporter, Tyler Dukes, reports Wake County and the Department of Commerce are still trying to woo Apple into North Carolina in an effort the state has dubbed “Project Bear.”
In attempting to obtain more information about this project, Dukes requested documentation about the recruitment efforts. It should have been easy enough, as Duke writes:
[E]xpansions and relocations – and the jobs they could potentially bring to communities – are the target of aggressive campaigns by state and local officials across the country. In North Carolina, state law requires agencies to release at least some records of those recruitment attempts when companies decide to go somewhere else.
However, Dukes was denied those documents, explaining:
Wake County and state Department of Commerce officials say their ongoing recruitment activities allow them, by law, to withhold records from disclosure.
In the piece, JLF’s Senior Fellow Joe Coletti reacted to Duke’s efforts and reporting:
[Coletti] would expect more of an explanation from public officials, given that Apple announced its plans to expand back in January 2018.
“This is either blind hope, or it’s just a stalling process,” Coletti said. “If it’s blind hope, they have to have something to indicate there’s a realistic prospect of it.”
In that case, he said, state officials should have at least some information to release to the public.