Last week, yet another publicly funded study was unveiled in Columbia, this one by the University of South Carolina on business and employment.
The story that appeared in The State, like the study itself, left one with more questions than answers.
For instance, there was no indication of what the cost of the study was or who paid for it.
For that information, you’d have to turn to the article written by my colleague at The Nerve, Eric Ward. Ward reported Tuesday that the study cost $55,000 and that the partners in the study included the S.C. Department of Commerce, New Carolina and the CTC Public Benefit Corporation.
Nearly three-fourths of the $55,000 came from public sources, Ward reported.
More evidence of the slumbering watchdog called The State newspaper: Last week, the Columbia paper parroted the University of South Carolina’s attempt to put a positive spin on word that three entities originally scheduled to move into the Innovista research campus will instead relocate elsewhere.
“The move, which will attract or keep 125 jobs in the downtown business district, is a coup for the Main Street-area boosters in the wake of SCANA’s departure last year to a new Cayce corporate campus,” the paper wrote in its April 22 article.
To much fanfare, technology firms VC3 and TM Floyd, along with the Consortium for Enterprise Systems Management, had previously announced plans to move into Innovista, USC’s ill-fated publicly-funded expansion.
The three companies were to go into privately financed buildings, but the project’s various developers were never able to secure financing.
At present, only the publicly funded aspects of Innovista have been built, and much of the those structures remain uncompleted and unoccupied. That, despite taking in more than $100 million in tax dollars.
But leave it to USC and The State to try and make chicken salad out of chicken feathers:
“Although located on the other side of the State House from USC’s campus, Innovista chief Don Herriott said the program and firms are part of a re-visioning for the research district,” it wrote. “The ‘innovation district’ now extends beyond the school’s confines to wherever cutting-edge jobs are being produced in affiliation with USC, he said.”
USC and The State can put all the lipstick they want on this pig, but it’s still not going to get a date on Saturday night.