Maryland Senate President Mike Miller says of "House of Cards" producer Beau Willimon: "He is a politician."
The failure of the Maryland General Assembly to approve an increase in tax credits for film companies before it adjourned for the year last night has some in Annapolis worried that the producers of the show "House of Cards" will follow through on their threat to leave the state.
But one top lawmaker isn't sweating. Senate president Mike Miller views the threat from "House of Cards" producers as nothing more than politics.
"Beau Willimon is the producer and writer for 'House of Cards.' He is a politician. It's the reason he's able to come up with these wonderful scripts, because he's worked in half of the statehouses in the United States," Miller says. "He understands politics. And knows why things get done and don't get done."
Miller isn't worried at all that the show will leave Maryland. Even though it's set in Washington, D.C., "House of Cards" is mostly filmed at a soundstage in Harford County. HBO's "Veep" is also shot in Maryland at a facility in Howard County.
"We're going to resolve the issue with 'House of Cards' and 'Veep.' We're very proud to have these productions in the state of Maryland. It's not because we're starstruck. These people put their pants on one leg at a time like we do," Miller says. "But it's like keeping Joe Flacco as the quarterback for the [Baltimore] Ravens. We want to keep these moneymakers in the state."
The House and Senate passed differing versions of a bill that would have increased the tax credits. And late last night, a conference committee made up of lawmakers from both branches ended in testy fashion without the differences being resolved.