A Battered FOIA Collides with the $2 Trillion Bailout

In the fall of 2019, city officials in Cleveland were confronted with the kind of economic crisis that is, by now, familiar across the country: a Fortune 500 company threatens to leave a city unless it gets millions of dollars to stay. On the line were thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenues.

A Cleveland suburb offered tax breaks worth as much as $100 million to Sherwin-Williams, which was founded in Cleveland the year after the Civil War ended. Officials in Cleveland went further, freeing up $13.5 million in public funds to give directly to the company so it might build a new corporate headquarters.

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