scandal is brewing in Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary, with candidate and former Sen. David Perdue accusing incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp of engaging in shady backroom deals and lining the pockets of liberal megadonor George Soros as part of a massive new economic development project in the Peach State.
“This may be the worst deal I’ve seen in my business career, honestly,” Perdue told the “Just the News, Not Noise” television program on Friday. “This was just done the wrong way. And I’ve called the governor out on that, and we’ve had no response.”
Earlier this week, state and local officials in Georgia inked a deal to dole out $1.5 billion of incentives to electric vehicle startup Rivian for it to build a $5 billion manufacturing plant east of Atlanta that will create 7,500 jobs.
The incentives include major tax credits, a 25-year no-cost lease, and more than $198 million in site and road improvements on nearly 2,000 acres.
The incentive package is by far the largest Georgia has ever offered to a company and, according to Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, the largest ever given by any U.S. state to an auto plant.
Perdue on Friday described Rivian, a California-based company committed to fighting climate change, as “woke,” noting Soros is a major investor. He made a similar point earlier this week.
“Think about how many small businesses in Georgia could be helped for this kind of money, instead of padding George Soros’ pockets,” Perdue said Monday. “Kemp gave away the farm to a woke corporation for something the locals don’t even want, and hardworking Georgians are left footing the bill.”
Late last year, Soros bought about 20 million shares of Rivian worth about $2.1 billion at the time, according to securities filings revealed in February. The purchase made Soros, among the country’s most prominent backers of progressive causes, one of the biggest investors in Rivian.
The deal to build the Rivian electric vehicle plant was first announced in December. Since then, Kemp has touted it as the biggest economic development project in Georgia history.
“I support 7,500 great-paying jobs going to rural Georgia, to an automobile manufacturing facility,” Kemp said during a debate on Sunday. “I’m going to always be for that.”
The 7,500 jobs will be created by Rivian when the plant is fully built by the end of 2028, with an average sal…