House of Cards settles for less

When House of Cards producers sent a letter to Gov. Martin O’Malley and House Speaker Michael E. Busch demanding an unspecified increase in tax incentives to keep the Netflix series filming in Maryland, it caused a minor tumult. The state Senate generally favored appeasement (even if it meant sacrificing state arts funding), while the House of Delegates preferred to punish the producers for the threatening letter and even to threaten them back with a very creative invocation of eminent domain.

The Wire creator David Simon voiced his support for the incentive increase. Our own Rachel Monroe suggested writing off House of Cards altogether and throwing all the money at the much less primadonna-y Veep. In the end, the House and Senate couldn’t agree on the bizarre eminent domain amendment, and the incentive shrank from a maximum of $18.5 million to a maximum of $15 million. And we were left wondering if it would satisfy the ransom.

However, negotiations between the producers and O’Malley ended with the company agreeing to film the third season in Maryland for just $11.5 million in tax breaks.

Cool. So, should we just pretend that this was all shrewd brinkmanship on our part and not just the happy accident of political gridlock?