Rep. Rick Catlin calls film worker ‘Liar’ and ‘Stupid’

Witnesses report that a heated argument between a film crew member and Rep. Rick Catlin took place this morning outside the government center during day 3 of early voting.

Shaun O’Rourke was holding a sign that read, “No one has killed more jobs in New Hanover County than Rick Catlin. Public Enemy #1.

Catlin came up to the crew member and started debating him on tax. Catlin rattled off that giving a cash rebate is against constitutional law.

Shaun replied with, “You are not going to tell me that all major corporations aren’t incentivized whether it’s on the local level with permits or otherwise. You cannot tell me that.”

Finally after Catlin continued on, Shaun told him, “You really need to get out of my face. You killed my job, you killed 1000s of jobs.” Apparently the politician would not remove himself from the crew member’s personal space.

Witnesses say that Catlin told Shaun to stop spreading lies.  “You’re lying. Everything you are doing is stupid. You’re stupid.”

The argument escalated and Rick’s wife got involved in what was now from what witnesses said a screaming match.

“We are trying to be professional!” Rick’s wife called out.

Shaun replied, “Professional? You just called one of your constituents stupid. This is why nobody wants you. You are going to call someone stupid in front of everybody? That’s why he didn’t get my vote.”

Catlin’s wife responded with, “We didn’t want your vote anyway!”

Catlin’s wife then moved over to the side and said, “Someone needs to talk to the campaign that was in charge of that group.”

Here’s the thing Mrs. Catlin, he’s not affiliated with any campaign. He’s here on behalf of the film workers. 

Rep. Rick Catlin gets into it with film advocate at early voting | WWAY TV 3


  1. Caitlin was wrong to accost Shaun at that location. Conversely Shaun needs to show a little respect to an elected official. As my Dad used to say “one HAS to respect the seat of power – not necessarily the a– that occupies that seat.”
    Respect the position Shaun.
    It is NOT one person who “killed” your job.
    This was unprofessional on everyone’s part, but more so on Caitlin’s. I hate that people are at the polls shoving stuff in your face as you enter to vote.

    • At the poles – Shaun as the VOTER – was at the seat of power here – not Caitlin. At the NC House of Representatives Caitlin is in the seat of power and I am sure Shaun would have respected that – there. Shaun has the right to hold his sign against Caitlin just as Caitlin has the right to hold his own sign for himself. Period.
      Caitlin does not deserve more respect in this situation because of his “power”. He should actually have less and shown more respect to the voters.

      • NOPE – if Shaun were VOTING that would be different and I’d agree with you – he was not he was trying to influence OTHER voters in a capacity of representing the film industry. These are two totally distinct things – both were wrong with Caitlin more wrong than Shaun.
        I voted tonight – not one film person there – I voted after 7pm – no lines, no politicians (ran into Sheriff McMahon who was taking signs down). Totally pleasurable experience.

    • Shaun was there to vote.
      After voting he was using his rights to hold his signs just as Caitlin has the right to hold his – without interference on either side.
      I have been to vote many times when I have been approached by a candidate or constitute trying to persuade my vote.
      Shaun was within his rights with his tiny 8×11 sign as much as any candidate and should be able to do so without being approached.
      Period. No need for discussion in this subject.

      • Wrong again Johanna and YOU don’t decide if there’s no need for more discussion. He voted and then assumed a new mantle to influence other voters coming to the polls. He has the RIGHT to do both of that there is no doubt. In his capacity as a voter he holds the power – in his capacity an electioneer he now changes his hat. Caitlin, as i’ve said repeatedly was wrong – more wrong than Shaun, but given his emotional responses in this thread I would suggest that cooler heads be at voting sites. Caitlin was by no means voting AGAINST the needs of NH county and for YOU to assume that all folks are for filming here is disingenuous and wrong..You DON’T have unanimous support. This state has gone VERY RED as Caitlin is WELL aware of..
        Elected officials warrant respect whether YOU agree with them or not. Shaun needed to be the BIGGER man here and failed miserably. Caitlin was MORE wrong here but Shaun was not without fault.

  2. do we want people voting who base their vote on only one subject? Thats ignorant voting imho. Its like voting for a candidate who’s only platform is cutting taxes. That is short sighted. Caitlin is not my favorite politician by any means but he CRUSHED Jordan in the debates when the subject was anything other than filming. There is more to this race than the film incentive vote. Both of those guys should have walked away from each other.
    As for flying off the handle? I can think of Romney who didn’t think he was being taped – Mitch McConnell as well. Funny how politicians become human when they don’t have visible microphones in front of them. Again, Caitlin is more wrong than Shaun on this but Caitlins vote on film incentives is NOT enough to convince me to NOT vote for him

    • Well, considering it is our life, family, income, homes it IS enough for a lot of us NOT to vote for him on this ONE subject. Because when this one subject is your entire life, it becomes important. I wasn’t there today because I had to do absentee voting because I am already working out of town due to lack of film incentive in the new year (my show films into the January and they picked a state that had an incentive in place for 2015). So yes – this ONE issue is extremely important to many of us including teacher pay along with many of his other drawbacks just to name a couple.

      • Johanna – voting transcends personal issues. If a person supported filming, but also supported fracking, or Titan would you vote for them JUST because they supported filming? If so then please stay away from the polling places. Some pro film politicians got my vote tonight but for reasons other than film. I voted AGAINST the school bond issue – not because education shouldn’t be funded but they completely ignored expansion possibilities at existing schools including Alderman, Pine Valley and Myrtle Grove where there is land available for such an endeavor. Spending THAT much money on maintenance and technology (along with a new school) without good oversight is asking for trouble and we don’t have ANY over sight it seems….
        But Johanna I GET IT – you work in film and you will have to move. you WILL survive as will your family. But to base your vote on a single issue is myopic.

      • You have missed the point – I didn’t vote for Caitlin strictly on the film issue- I don’t agree with him on the majority of his platforms.
        That being said – when there is a candidate that is going to destroy my life – no, he is not going to get my vote – you don’t seem to understand this. This is not just some small issue for us, this is our entire life – our homes, families, everything that we have worked for and we will do what it takes to get the proper people out of office and the supporters in.
        Please stop assuming that we are all just voting strictly on the film incentive-this just happens to be a platform that we are talking about here. This is not where we typically discuss other issues because in case you haven’t noticed, this is a film and television site. We are all a lot smarter than that.
        And my final note, I am not moving. I will not allow people like Caitlin, McCrory run me out of my home state and everything I have worked for. I may have to work out of town for awhile again until we get this state back to where it should be but I am not moving. We will prevail on this issue again – it may take time until we can get these people out of office and get the proper people in but it will happen and I will be back to sleeping in my own bed, spending my money on this state and knowing that each of our votes counts.

    • As a person you don’t blame ONE out of a hundred representatives either. But we all know what he REAL problem is here don’t we? Caitlin asked for the Fiscal Research study which completely trashed Prof Handfields MPAA bought and paid for study. Can we at least agree with this? The PROBLEM is that the FRD agreed with ALL private studies done that CONFIRM filming loses money for most states. When I ask for someone to provide independent studies to confirm Handfield I get nothing. Heck even Handfield took his website down not once but twice when people started pointing out other glaring errors in the report. And of course then there’s the film commission emails supporting Handfield and giving money to him for the study to be “as robust as possible.” Just a little bit of “foregone conclusion” there eh? So does this make Caitlin public enemy #1? Were you EXPECTING the Legislature to just buy into MPA funded studies? To act like sheep? This is the #1 problem with this blog and with film supporters – you can’t handle opposing viewpoints because when it comes to economic impacts you can’t show accurate results from independent studies. THERE ARE NONE!!!!
      You guys really need to step back and regroup – you’re going about this all wrong.
      When the GOP retains control of the Legislature – and they will – then you ask for a 100% INCREASE in the film cap and have Mike Lee propose the Legislation. It’s not a lot of money and you WILL get it. THEN ask for another 50% increase next year.
      But there is NO WAY you get back your Tier 1 incentive until the DEMs control both the Legislature AND the Governors Mansion and THATs not gonna happen anytime soon – but you can work within the system in the meantime – you just gotta do it “right”. Of course if revenues DECREASE as much as I fear they will then all bets are off……….

      • You are wrong about that MOST states LOSE money with the film incentives! Why do you think states like Georgia, Al, and LA KEEP and even increase the film incentives——because they KNOW that the film industry helps the economy of the state as a whole! And Caitlin is not in my district, but I would not vote for him if he were.

  3. There is a “DMZ” area where there is no electioneering past a certain pont. . I’m surprised that the Catlin’s chose to approach the voter in the electioneering section. It doesn’t sound like he ended up looking very professional. As far as voting for one issue: the film industry makes lots of boats float all over North Carolina; it is a clean industry; it supports our tourist industry which is also a clean industry; it helps the middle class. Catlin IS just one of many Republicans who voted to end the film incentive but it hurt to think that someone who lives in the area would not REPRESENT his constituents. “They say”, “all politics is local”. It doesn’t get anymore “local” than the film/tourist industry in Wilmington.

    • Diana – unfortunately the state LOSES money for every dollar and the tourism “effect” is so small its to be laughable. Handfields study made glaring assumptions especially pertaining to tourism. He ws called out on it by the FRD and had no response for that glaring assumption. All studies, I repeat ALL STUDIEs done outside of MPAA indicate that filming is a losing proposition for states.
      Of course you guys know people that come here to see where sleepy hollow is filmed I expect that. Heck we have folks that travel the country to visit every baseball/football stadium. What you don’t get is that ese folks are so small in number it has no net affect on tourism.
      We are PAYING for those folks to come here and LOSING money in the process! If the state does NOT pay out the incentive and people still come here to visit THEN the state profits. The incentive pays out more than the state takes in.

      • You do realize the state pays 25% of the 100% that a production spends here in our state? That’s a pretty nice investment. I am an assistant accountant and see the exorbitant amount of money productions spend here, from flower deliveries to lumber to food to paychecks for me and my coworkers. Spend a day looking at the numbers on the NC Film website before you repeat rumors you hear on the street.

        ps I’m currently working in GA where the Republican governor realizes the trickle-down effect works in this industry and there’s so much work, they can’t keep up. Sure would be nice to see my family more often and sleep in my own bed again soon,

  4. April 1013 WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A bill filed in the state House could make it harder for North Carolina to bring big productions to Hollywood East.

    Under the current law, a film company earns a refundable tax credit for 25 percent of a production’s qualifying expenses. Any money left over as surplus credit is then cut into a check from the state to the production company.

    Republicans Rick Catlin of New Hhanover County and Chris Millis of Pender County are among the sponsors of a bill that would require them use the surplus against any future tax liability for the next five years.

  5. Word to the wise……

    You don’t call someone “stupid” or a “liar” when that person is losing his job, his medical, his dental, and having to sell his house after living in Wilmington for 20 years.

    There is no compassion from any of the anti film politicians for the families that are being rocked by their efforts or decisions.

    They truly are picking winners and loser.

    Catlin did not like being challenged on the issue and resorted to petty name calling.

    Catlin claims he always runs a clean campaign. Yesterday was an epic fail on his part.

    After the incident Catlin fled the scene leaving his wife holding a sign in his behalf.

    When the truth stings……its a wake up call.

      • And WHY did people who were affected by Ranpage and Invista layoffis not protest, as Shaun did? People protest for issues that are important to them for the most part. Yes, there are those who protest for others also, but to say that Shaun should have been there to protest those layoffs is a bit much. Those industries and people who worked for them were/are imiportant, but unlike t he film industry, only employ those who work regulary in those industries. The film and TV industries ALSO emply people who have been laid off from other jobs, veterans and retired people trying to supplement their incomes (mostly extra work), and all fo the small businesses such as catering, lumber companies, motels, restaurants—and the list goes on and on………..And, yes there may be a few self-centered eogitistical people in the film industry, AS THERE ARE IN MANY OTHER INDUSTRIES, however, there are MANY MANY wonderful people asociated with the film industry!, who actually give and help in local charities and spend money in our state while working in it!!!!! To call an entire group of people names, and downplay their contributions is unfair, dont you think?

  6. Actually Peggy if you read the article Caitlin told Shaun “YOU are stupid” I don’t read that to mean the entire industry was.
    I happen to agree that there are many wonderful talented people in film – the ONLY thing I object to is the government hand out.
    We have the talent, the infrastructure and the scenery. It is time for the industry to stand on its own. Caitlin is right there are no provisions in the constitution to allow government to do this although I doubt that it has been challenged in courts to get a ruling.
    As posted above, there is a growing caucho phoney about getting government out of the incentive business. The WRAL story sent shock waves through state government especially at the Dept of Commerce – because Decker is waiting for the long session to get some JDIG funds which are now in jeopardy.
    Finally as you are aware NC’s incentive is a transferable tax credit. Rabon and the Governor have BOTH said there have been abuses with Rabon saying they are wide spread.
    Is is like this?

    Click to access Let-the-Credits-Roll.pdf

    Funny that NO ONE in the BIZ wants to hear what the basis was for Rabon’s comments..


    • Hmmmm I DID read the article Pete…I was referring to your post NOT the article. I am well aware that Caitlin called Shaun “stupid” etc…..but YOU said to Shaun—“where were you when those industries closed…..And the Governor said that there have been abuses??? Do you think that I trust the Governor, who has very close friends in Georgia, who WANTED the films to leave NC, and go to Georgia. Just because Rabon and the Governor said so—does NOT make it true. And then Governor said that one reason to cut film incentives was because education is important to out state, and then pretends that he helped get teachers raises. BIG FAT LIE! I have relatives who have been teachers in NC for the past 20-25 years…veteran teachers—and they got a HUGE WOPPING 3 % raise, while only having to give up their longevity……….I live in a small town, and layoffs have been abundant in the past 4 years. I, along with many others were laid off…etc. whatever….fine… probably dont care………BUT, no matter what you say or think—–I have seen “evidence” that the film industry and the people who work within it regularly contribute to our states economy—–and IT WILL HURT NC economy. Obviously you did not read all of my post about the numerous people, besides regular film employees, WHO HAVE BENEFITTED from the films and television shows filmed all over our state. I am guessing that you worked at one of those industries that closed, and for that I am sorry, because I know firsthand how it feels to lost a job thought no fault of my own………but, many small businesses actually were created to serive the film and TV industries…..and now they will suffer also…etc…..etc…..etc….I could go on and on……but it is too freaking depressing!!!

      • Peggy-
        It is NOT the function of state government to support any industry or particular company. Caitlin is VERY RIGHT about this possibly being unconstitutional. I have read the NC constitution and there is nothing in there that allows for this or any type of incentive.
        Film supporters are asking government to outlay monies to support their place of where they live and their livelihoods for NO OTHER reason then they don’t want to leave here! Sorry thats not free market enterprise. Yes I know that other states do this but NC should not add to bad legislation with bad legislation of their own.
        Do film company’s spend here? OF course they do. Will people have to move? Of course they will and I hate to see this happen but free enterprise sometimes hurts. I moved -I EXPERIENCED EXACTLY what Shaun and others are going through, multiple times. Its not fun – but if you are requiring government to sustain your jobs then you are in the wrong business – go work for state government. Private enterprise should not be supported by government hand outs in any way shape or form. Lowered corporate and income taxes is the only fair equitable way to attract company’s to come here. The question is – does NC have the fiscal ability to to afford doing this? Given the reduction in revenues I suspect the answer may be “NO” but that will play out next year. The fiscal Research Div said NC loses $0.49 for every dollar invested in filming – if you don’t believe that then fine, don’t believe it but it does confirm what most independent research says and there’s no evidence to suggest from independent sources that its good for a state.
        SC has the studies to show they lose money but passed the incentive package anyway, over the VETO of then Governor Mark Sanford. Louisiana also has studies that show losses for the state but still have incentives. Georgia – BY LAW – cannot release any state studies on this subject but in the last go around on film incentives the debate in their state legislature was wild with many legislators AGAINST film incentives. There are dumb politicians on both sides of this argument.

        Click to access McDonald14U.Pa.J.Bus.L.85(2011).pdf

        Sorry but as much as I like the film industry its time for them to stand on their own. Its sink or swim. After an initial down turn I expect filming here to pick up…
        PS – and if film supporters had half a brain they’d PLAN on having Michael Lee ask for a doubling of the film cap in the long session. You would get it………

  7. Shaun – you got the same level of compassion from anti film incentive Legislators that Invista, Rampage and DAK workers got from ALL Legislators and from all citizens in the area – NONE.
    They didn’t even get any from film workers…….


  8. Normally I don’t chime into such things, but I thought this was worth a word or two; I am not in the film industry. I sell old stuff, used stuff. I mostly do eBay, but have both sold stuff to and bought stuff from local productions in the last year, and I can say for certain that those of us who buy and sell old stuff, we are going to be economically impacted by the lack of incentives. That’s just a fact.

    Lots of us who are not in the film industry will have fewer customers. Restaurants and bars will have fewer patrons, landlords will have fewer tenants, retail stores will have fewer buyers, the folks who have leased their properties for shooting locations will no longer have that revenue, lumber yards and hardware stores will not be selling to folks building sets, and certainly those of us who sell the kinds of things that can be used for all other kinds of set dressing will lose an invaluable outlet, and that’s just off the top of my head.

    It’s not just about film industry professionals, or specific tourism subsequent to a successful project. I have been here a while, I remember when DEG was just woods. The film industry here has been a huge benefit, the incentives make us competitive against rival states, and it seems to me that a while back we tried this exact exercise, only to realize it was a terrible mistake.

    And now, apparently, that lesson has been forgotten. It saddens me that we will seem to have to relearn it all over again, and that not only those of you in the film business will have to endure this mistake, but also those of us in retail, re-sale, real estate, food and beverage, tourism, and any other industry that relies on local revenue as opposed to exported goods, well…

    …let me just say that many of us little nobodies are keeping track of who has decided it is a good idea to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. To the folks who see this as a “giveaway” program without benefit, I have to believe you have just never witnessed on the ground how much that money spreads and supports local owners and operators, folks who are far from the bright lights.

    I have, so I vehemently disagree with the elimination of incentives. Just my two cents.

  9. Pingback: THE WILMYWOOD DAILY – 10/29/2014 Holy Crow! Too much for one title! | The Wilmywood Daily

  10. Pete-I can see you are trying to turn people away from voting against Caitlin. Desperately trying. And I just wanted to ask: how do you think that’s working out for you (and your pal Rick Caitlin)? Making headway, are you??? D’you think?

    • Geofferey –
      caitlin is ahead in most polling even DEM polling so it won’t matter much. Do I expect to convince people here to vote against Caitlin? Oh no not a chance – but this place DOES need an opposing view point now and again.
      BTW – remember that of all the people running there are many incumbents that are pro film – Michael Lee is pro film as was the guy he replaced. Film supporters have to get a NET gain in the Legislature. As of right now polling indicates that most GOP incumbents will return, and its very likely the GOP will actually pick up MORE seats in the Legislature. As I have pointed out repeatedly here – NC has swung red very RED. Rabon, Millis, Caitlin are all ahead in polling (even from Dem sources).’But its politics so anything can happen.

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