WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The North Carolina Governor's office is disputing claims from New Hanover County State Senator Thom Goolsby (R) that he worked to bring Iron Man 3 to the Wilmington area.
Governor Bev Perdue joined Mayor Bill Saffo and other dignitaries Thursday to announce the next installment of the popular film series would set up in Wilmington in 2012. It will be the biggest production to ever take place in this area.
After the announcement, Goolsby sent out an emailed statement from the Senate President Pro Tem's office stating, "There is no better place for this project than Wilmington, and for months I've worked with colleagues in the North Carolina Senate and the executive branch to bring it here. I'm thrilled to see the film incentives we approved in the state budget – the budget Gov. Perdue vetoed – being used to create new jobs and boost our local economy. This is an exciting day for North Carolina."
The problem, according to the Governor's office, is that they claim to have never discussed the negotiations with Senator Goolsby.
"Senator Goolsby has had little contact with the administration on economic development with one exception: His refusal to support the economic development package that would have brought Project Soccer and 1,300 jobs to southeastern North Carolina. Now he appears to be taking credit for film incentives that were enacted under Gov. Perdue's leadership before Sen. Goolsby was ever elected to the legislature," Mark Johnson, Deputy Communications Director, emailed to WECT.com.
Friday morning, Goolsby told WECT.com has had "no desire to get into a back and forth with the Governor on who deserves credit for this project. I give all the credit to the people in the New Hanover County film industry who worked tirelessly on this."
Goolsby said that he voted on a budget this year that maintained the funding for film incentives and he pointed out Governor Perdue vetoed it.