Public interest is high, so why is it ‘not in the public interest’ to release details of Amazon bid?

The Denver Post: Public interest is running high over details of Colorado’s bid for a second Amazon headquarters — such as which locations the state recommended and how much it offered in taxpayer-funded financial incentives. But officials involved in crafting the proposal, without a hint of irony, say releasing that information is not in the public interest.

The state released a copy of its bid this week with those key details blurred out. In selected emails and documents related to the bid that the state provided to The Denver Post and Denver7 in response to a public-records request, specifics on locations and incentives were redacted.

“We think that it all should be public,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a national policy resource center for corporate and government accountability that has criticized public incentives. “In our opinion, because Amazon is running this like a public auction, everything about it should be public.”

Elsewhere in North America, major cities from Chicago to Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., spilled details of their quests to get Amazon to pick them. Massachusetts published its proposal online, mentioning more than $410 million in tax credits and infrastructure improvements is available for major employers considering moving to the state.

Washington, D.C., which called its campaign #Obviously D.C., also posted its proposal online. While it offered no specifics on its “generous tax incentives,” the nation’s capital named four locations and showed multiple properties available.

“We shared those locations publicly to showcase the people who live and work in our neighborhoods and to enlist them as partners in our bid,” said Chanda Washington, a spokeswoman for the DC Office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “Because, in the end, it is the spirit of Washingtonians that gives the DC proposal its heart and soul.”

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