“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Romney Attacks GM in Final Days of Election; GM Defends Record From Romney Lies, Calls Them ‘Fantasy’

Before we get into the new morass of mud and muck dredged up by the Romney campaign and slung at the US auto industry, it’s important to establish a few facts. This effort is useful as the Romney campaign, with its almost daily distortions and flip-flops, has been the most fact-free bid for the Presidency of any election cycle in modern memory. Romney’s most recent smear campaign, waged against the US auto industry and, by extension, American workers, is just the newest in a daily stream of distortions, gimmicks, smears, and attempts to terrorize the US electorate.

First, in an op-ed to the New York Times entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Mitt Romney, in his opening sentence, stated:

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.

Coming into office and facing the worst economic decline since the Great Depression left behind by the Bush Administration, President Obama decided to act to save over 2 million American jobs by directly supporting the auto industry bailout. Though far less expensive than the TARP program to bail out the US financial sector, the auto bailout provided much more direct support to the US middle class by ensuring that auto industry and supply chain jobs were not lost and that key US industries did not collapse. Conservatives of every stripe immediately howled that such government intervention would result in an US auto industry ‘doomsday.’ And Mitt Romney added his voice to those claiming US automakers would fail if they accepted government assistance during the worst of times.

As the years passed, Mitt Romney and conservatives have been proven drastically wrong. The US auto industry has recovered. GM is again the number 1 seller of automobiles in the world. And the industry is in the process of adding US jobs and repatriating jobs from overseas. This dramatic success belies republican and Romney drama to the contrary. It shows that the leadership role Obama took to save the US auto industry is now beginning to pay off. And, most glaringly, it shows the deep, systemic, failure of the current, rigid republican economic ideology.

Meanwhile, the corporation Romney built — Bain Capital — is now preparing to dismantle a factory that manufactures sensors for the auto industry in Freeport Illinois and ship their jobs overseas. Nearly 200 workers at the Sensata factory which Bain bought-out will find their jobs outsourced to China before the end of this year. This is a result of the outsourcing and off-shoring legacy that Romney pioneered while head of Bain Capital. (See more about Sensata here.)

This dual narrative of Obama’s leadership and success combined with Romney still profiting from liquidating US factories and sending the jobs overseas has had devastating effect for Romney in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan who know all too well how damaging outsourcing and off-shoring have been to their economies. Loss of critical factories like the one at Sensata has resulted in the gutting of entire communities. Whole neighborhoods in Detroit are now ghost towns as a result of the kind of outsourcing Mitt Romney pioneered at Bain Capital. Some of these lost jobs may never come back, captured by 99 cent an hour Chinese workers and a country that is unwilling to establish laws to protect its own people from the abuses of vulture capitalists like Romney. China may as well have foisted a sign emblazoned ‘Robber Barons R’ Us.’ And, Romney, among many others, came flocking to exploit the slave wage labor there by dismantling US factories and sending them overseas.

Perhaps too late, Romney has realized how damaging these methods of employing equities firms and off-shoring practices to accumulate personal profit have become. But the realization appears to have now stuck with a vengeance. And, in typical Romney fashion, Romney is now waging a media campaign against the very business Obama was so successful in saving and that, since late 2009, has directly added thousands of US jobs.

The Romney campaign is now running a malicious and false advertisement claiming that Jeep plans to ship US jobs overseas to China. The ad comes as Jeep revealed plans to build two manufacturing plants in China over the coming years. But, contrary to Romney’s false assertion, Jeep’s China expansion is not coming at the cost of any US manufacturing. Unlike Romney’s Sensata, no Jeep facilities are being shut down. No workers are being forced to train their Chinese replacements, as Romney’s Bain is forcing Sensata workers to do so. In fact, Jeep and GM have pledged to take profits from the Chinese operation and use it to create more jobs in the US. It’s almost the exact reverse of the Romney model. Call it in-sourcing, or re-sourcing, or repatriating, or even re-shoring. But it’s definitely not the Romney/Bain model for outsourcing and off-shoring.

Since late 2009, Jeep alone has added over 4600 US jobs, showing, in fact, that Romney’s claims are patently false.

GM was quick to defend its record from Romney’s false attacks:

“We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”

Crysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in an email to employees refuted Romney’s claims by simply laying out the facts:

“Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne stated in the e-mail. “The numbers tell the story,” followed by specific investments Chrysler has made in Detroit, Toledo and Belvidere, Ill. “Those include more than $1.7 billion to produce the successor of the Jeep Liberty and hire about 1,100 workers on a second shift by 2013.”

The additional 1100 jobs are on top of the 4600 jobs Jeep has already added. In contrast, Romney’s Bain will, in the next couple months, send another 200 jobs to China. So the contrast couldn’t be more stark.

And the media is starting to pick up on Romney’s egregious assault of lies against the US auto industry and US workers. The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently called the Romney advertisements attacking the auto industry ‘economic terrorism.’ The Detroit Free Press has published this in-depth piece exposing Romney’s false claims. The conservative-leaning US News and World Report posted an analysis showing how the US auto expansion in China was helping to support jobs expansion at home. And FactCheck.org labeled Romney’s recent advertising blitz “flat wrong” stating:

“It’s misleading to suggest that Chrysler’s decision to expand into China will cost U.S. jobs — especially after the company has said it would have no impact on its U.S. operations.”

The fact-checking website noted a report from Bloomberg that Chrysler was considering “adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.” Meanwhile Chrysler, in a dramatic refutation of Romney’s doomsday prediction for the US auto industry, just reported a third quarter profit of $381 million, up 80 percent from a year ago.

It seems likely that the Romney misinformation machine may have just bitten off more than it can chew. Considering the wide-ranging backlash taking shape from both the US auto industry and the broader media, it appears that Romney’s false attacks against GM and Jeep are about to erupt in his face. The US auto industry is firmly on its path to recovery, with each new report showing positive results. Further, the US auto industry is in the process of adding thousands of jobs here in America. Both of these points prove Romney dramatically wrong. Wrong in his ‘Let Detroit go Bankrupt’ op-ed and wrong now. Finally, these attacks only serve to call attention to Romney’s own record of sending US jobs overseas, the most recent example of which is Sensata.

Links:

http://www.freep.com/article/20121031/NEWS15/310310091/GM-and-Chrysler-Romney-is-wrong

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=0

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2012/10/31/gm-on-romney-campaign-politics-at-its-cynical-worst/

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/10/31/memo-to-mitt-romney-gms-success-in-china-is-good-for-america

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-34222_162-57542993/gm-like-chrysler-refutes-romneys-auto-industry-ad/

http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/10/gm-aide-romney-ads-part-of-parallel-universe-147753.html

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/10/30/GM-Gap-between-Romney-ad-and-reality/UPI-56761351637557/

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Betrayed Workers, Sensata, and Taking Down The American Flag: Mitt Romney’s Legacy of Shipping US Jobs to China

On November 5th, Bain Capital, the Company Mitt Romney founded, will ship 170 US jobs to China. On November 6th, Mitt Romney will ask to be your President.

Sensata technologies manufactured sensors for US automobiles, ships, electronics, appliances and aircraft. It was an inheritor of the intellectual capital of Honeywell, a set of knowledge and trade secrets that was a pivotal component of the US defense industry and critical to US national security. They served a broad range of customers from GM to the US military. The company helped to support a vital economy in Freeport Illinois. That was all before Bain Capital got a 51% stake in Sensata and began doing the terrible work of sending the company, its intellectual property and, most importantly, its jobs to China.

The first phase of this transfer of US jobs, intellectual and economic capital to China involved training Chinese workers and a transfer of the trade secrets of a US company to Chinese shores. Sensata employees were forced by Bain to train Chinese workers at the American facility. And when Chinese workers came, the company Mitt Romney founded forced Sensata to lower the American flag. So, for a time, American workers labored under a de-flagged US company to hand over jobs and US trade secrets related to national security to the Chinese even as this activity created big profits for Bain company executives and major share holders.

It is important to note that the loss of these jobs from US shores doesn’t help the impoverished Chinese workers who are forced by China and by companies like Bain to work in terrible sweat-shop conditions at low wages and at little hope for economic advancement. So what Bain’s transfer of Sensata jobs to China represents is the favoring of building slave wage overseas jobs in pursuit of short-term profits over US middle class jobs, building the American dream, and long-term prosperity at home.

The second phase of Bain’s activity at Sensata will wrap up on November 5th, the day before the US Presidential election, when Sensata’s 170 workers are fired and the transfer of US jobs from this vital US industry to China is complete.

More than anything else, this is Mitt Romney’s legacy. He founded Bain Capital. He pioneered its outsourcing and shipping US jobs overseas for profit practices in the 1980s and 1990s. He developed that model for liquidating US jobs and replacing them with low-wage work overseas which so many of the greedy in this country have used for their own enrichment. So, sadly, Sensata is but the most recent of scores and scores of US companies whose jobs were sent to China as Bain profited. And today, as a major share-holder of Bain Capital, holding more than 8 million dollars in company stocks, Romney still profits from the terrible practices he put in place when he sat at Bain’s helm.

These facts weren’t lost on Sensata’s workers who organized a petition with 35,000 signatures pleading with Mitt Romney not to ship their jobs to China. Thus far, all they’ve earned is silence.

Yet Mitt Romney is asking Americans for a favor on November 6th. He’s asking us to trust him. He’s asking us to ignore the Americans who worked at Sensata and so many other US companies whose jobs and intellectual capital were sent to China. He’s asking us to believe he holds Americans’ best interests at heart, despite making large profits from shipping US jobs to China and keeping that money in a secret Cayman Islands bank account in order to dodge paying US taxes and support the American public interest. He’s asking us to believe he is a patriotic American even though it is the practice of the company he founded to lower the US flag on American workers who are forced to labor to train their Chinese replacements.

How can we trust a man who built his legacy on a foundation of harm to Americans? How can we trust a man who, even now, ignores the plight of the workers the company he founded continues to victimize, continues to push onto US government assistance roles and remove their hopes of economic independence? And how can we trust a man who has, throughout his entire career in business favored China over America and personal profits over the best interests of the American people?

Links:

http://www.rrstar.com/news/x887150325/Sensata-workers-go-Bainport-to-protest-Freeport-outsourcing

http://tucsoncitizen.com/baja-democrats/2012/10/14/the-romney-economy/

Mitt Romney — If You Care About Americans, Then Why Are You Still Profiting From Shipping Jobs to China?

Remember all the hullabaloo earlier this year over the company Mitt Romney founded — Bain Capital? Remember all the news reports, blogs, and personal testimonials about people who lost their jobs after Bain bought out companies, drove them to bankruptcy by taking out debt and paying themselves via checks, and then shipped jobs overseas to places like China where workers were forced to work for less than a dollar an hour in sweat-shop conditions? Remember how Bain was exposed for pioneering the model for sending the jobs of US workers to places like China and profiting from it? Remember how many other companies in the US then duplicated this model, in essence, creating a massive industry entirely dedicated to devastating America’s middle class jobs?

Well, it’s still happening. Bain is still shipping US jobs to China and Romney is still making money from Bain’s actions. Money that will likely end up in Romney’s foreign tax shelter so he can avoid contributing to the very US government whose helm he is now exerting every effort to attain.

In Freeport Illinois today, over 170 employees of Sensata Technologies are now at imminent risk of losing their jobs. The reason? Bain capital recently gained a controlling stake in Sensata and is now planning to outsource the 170 middle class jobs at Sensata to China. Workers may now have only days before they lose their jobs.

Sensata is a high-tech industry. It produces sensors used in ships, aircraft, automobiles, appliances and other electronics. It supports the supply chain of Ford and GM, both vital US industries. It is an example of a high-value industry that supports well paying jobs and helps to build vital communities around the US. Hundreds of families rely on the wages generated via Sensata’s virtuous cycle of innovation and production. In essence, making things. Many more jobs are also supported via the indirect impacts of this vital industry operating in America.

In addition, Sensata is a corporation that provides a critical service to the US military. It designs sensors that are used on military platforms and, as such, provides a vital and sensitive national-security related service.

As you have probably already surmised, shipping Sensata’s jobs to China is not just a devastating blow to 170 American families. Not only is it a devastating blow to Freeport, who will lose one of its vital industries. It is a blow to US national security to ship a critical feed-in to the US military manufacturing chain to China. It, in essence, knocks a chink in America’s armor.

It is, therefore, somewhat ironic to note that Bain has required Sensata employees to train Chinese workers to produce the equipment and sensors that Sensata designed. This process can be seen as a transfer of intellectual property related to a national security interest directly to China. In addition, and perhaps more disturbing, is the fact that Bain has required the company to lower the American flag for as long as a week while Bain employees were operating on Sensata grounds. No explanation was made for this rather alarming and disturbing practice. And it begs the question — what does Bain have against the American flag and the American nationality itself?

After bearing insult after insult to livelihood, to prospects, to happiness, and to that vital link with the shining value of Americanism and of the hopes she represents — life, liberty, equality — the workers of Sensata broke. They decided to take action.

In a brave show of rebellion against the oppressive and unAmerican outsourcing practices of Bain Capital, Sensata workers have organized a rally against Bain’s heinous activities. They’ve established Bainport — an ongoing protest against Bain’s outsourcing activity. And they will stage a rally there at 3 PM tomorrow to draw attention to a company Mitt Romney founded and that is the very legacy of his career in business. Workers from such companies as French Sampsonite have joined with Sensata workers and will vent their outrage for Bain’s unjust practices tomorrow. Julian Bond, former chair of the NAACP has also joined with Sensata workers in solidarity.

According to reports from the Rock River Times, a local newspaper, the employees of Sensata have gathered over 35,000 signatures for a letter to Mitt Romney, pleading for intervention in a destructive process that threatens so much that is vital to Freeport. The paper noted:

In July, the Freeport City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on Romney to meet the workers and use his influence at Bain to intervene on their behalf. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) echoed their call during a trip to Freeport later that month. The situation has even become an issue in the congressional race in Illinois’ 17th district.

So the question comes to Mitt Romney. Why? Why do you keep hurting the American people? Why do you risk American security by shipping vital technology jobs to China? Why have you sought and earned so much profit from so much harm? And why, if you care about Americans, if you really care as much as you have said on the campaign trail over the past two weeks, why are you allowing the destructive processes you pioneered to continue?

If you, Mitt Romney, really do disavow your heinous and disrespectful remarks about 47% of Americans, if you really do feel sorry, then why not use your clout to stop this harm? Though you are not currently the CEO of Bain, you are certainly a major share holder with rights to the company proper. If you so chose, you could use your clout as founder. You could stop the system of harm that you designed from continuing its awful work.

And what do you, Americans, think of someone running for President who has profitted so much from the liquidation of the American worker? Who continues to profit from their liquidation? Is this man patriot enough to be President? And could he be trusted to use that Presidential power in the interest of the people of America?

The real Americans his business practices have hurt so much.

Links:

http://rockrivertimes.com/2012/10/12/french-samsonite-employees-laid-off-by-bain-join-sensata-workers-at-%E2%80%98bainport%E2%80%99-oct-13/

http://www.sensata.com/

http://www.journalstandard.com/news/x887150434/Sensata-workers-go-Bainport-to-protest-Freeport-outsourcing

Mitt Romney’s Enormous Lie On Green Energy Reveals Assault On Key US Industry

(Imagine Mitt Romney holding a match under this image)

It’s really no news that republicans hate US alternative energy. Across the country over the past few years they’ve done everything a political party can do to fight renewables. They’ve blocked legislation, they’ve waged verbal and political campaigns against the new technologies, and they’ve jiggered laws and legislation in an attempt to dissuade people from adopting alternative energy sources at every turn. The Volt, as just one example, has turned into a political whipping boy of the right blamed and smeared with each new success. Solyndra, in another example, is a strawman that has ridden shotgun with Mitt Romney all over the campaign trail.

Republicans, clearly divested of their fake jobs interest, have targeted an industry that directly supports hundreds of thousands of American jobs, 3 times the average number of jobs per dollar spent when compared to fossil fuels, and indirectly supports over 8.5 million jobs. But, it’s pretty clear, given republicans’ actual policies, removed from rhetoric, that they don’t care one whit about these jobs or any other so long as they’ve got a political axe to grind.

Enter yesterday’s presidential debates when Mitt Romney, telling a lie a minute, suddenly opened all guns on alternative energy in this off-color and patently false statement:

“And these [clean energy] businesses, many of them have gone out of business, I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in, have gone out of business.”

This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only has renewable energy production doubled since Obama began his term in 2009, of the 34 alternative energy companies having received government loans through the stimulus program, only 3 are now in bankruptcy. Nine percent does not make half. But since when did arithmetic ever bother Mitt once he’d gotten onto the whopper roll?

Romney’s false claim goes further than even its blatant and gross exaggeration would indicate. It creates an impression that alternative energy in the US is an abject failure. An implication which couldn’t be further from the truth. And with new US wind installations outpacing every other form of new energy except the, soon to go bust, natural gas, Romney has decided to level a vicious political assault against a sector that is critical to current US energy security as well as economic growth.

We all know that republicans like Romney believe that more drilling can power the entire US and achieve energy independence all in one go. It can’t. The costs for the new fuels are too high, the rate of consumption is too great, and the rate of overall depletion is too high. The republican push for reliance on these depleting fuels would only set the US for another bubble and bust. Even now, many natural gas companies are financially struggling due to the climbing costs of fractured shale production. On the side of oil, fracked extraction of that resource requires prices higher than $90 per barrel to remain profitable. A high price Romney smugly blames on Obama even though it is a simple reality of the market force of depletion acting on the fossil energy sources Romney wants us to be reliant on.

Yet these internal dynamics don’t even take into account the dramatic and growing impact of fossil fuel emissions on climate change. Nor do they consider that the cost of renewable energy, year over year, just keeps going down.

Just this year, another 20% of sea ice was lost in the Arctic. At the current rate of decline, ice-free summers will be seen in the Arctic within this decade. The impacts of this event are twofold — ever more extreme and prolonged extreme weather conditions in the northern hemisphere and enhanced melt in Greenland as it loses its insulating barrier of sea ice. But Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in climate change, remember?

Also this year, solar energy prices fell by over 65%. Now that’s change we can believe in. And as Mitt so snippetly noted, oil prices are high on average overall. Yet Mitt wants to bet the farm and the country, for that matter, on an increasingly expensive and difficult to extract resource.

Romney’s assault on the legitimacy of renewable energy is not only an assault on increasingly less expensive energy and on dealing responsibly with climate change, it is an assault on the American dream. Imagine if Romney’s false vision of half US alternative energy industries going bankrupt came true. Imagine all the lost jobs and livelihoods. Imagine all the failed innovations. Imagine how far back both the US and the world will be pushed if that dark vision becomes reality.

Perhaps Mitt Romney wasn’t lying entirely when he made this statement after all. Perhaps he was instead telegraphing his own plan to drive half of US alternative energy industries into bankruptcy even as he pushes for greater dependence on the dirty dangerous and depleting oil, gas, and coal. It’s really funny how neurotic people with bad intentions tend to project in this way. So we have to wonder, was Mitt foreshadowing the result of a Romney presidency?

Perhaps Mitt Romney’s wish for alternatives is as it was with GM:

“Let them go bankrupt.”

Considering Mitt profited so much from American bankruptcies over the course of his career, I suppose he’d like that. Who knows, maybe his equity firms could still get a part of that action. US middle class alternative energy jobs going to China for more Romney bucks, anyone?

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