Politics & Elections
New Iowa-Specific Ad Released by Obama for America PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Elizabeth Purchia   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 13:02

On the day that Vice President Biden is kicking off his Strengthening the Middle Class Tour through Eastern Iowa, Obama for America released a new Iowa-specific TV ad in the state.


Referring to the Washington Post story that revealed that Romney's companies were pioneers in shipping US jobs overseas, the ad asks “does Iowa really want an Outsourcer-In-Chief in the White House?”


In remarks in Waterloo, the Vice President will highlight President Obama’s ongoing efforts to grow Iowa’s rural economy and bolster middle-class security for Iowa families while taking on Mitt Romney’s history of shipping American jobs overseas.


Click here to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLyL4N2O_So

Pundit: Then-and-Now Numbers Reveal Obama’s Weaknesses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 12:19

As President Barack Obama nears the end of his first term, many are wondering what has changed since he took office. Others wonder, “What is he thinking?”

Within his first 100 days in the White House, Obama made his most expensive legislative move: the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – the stimulus package.

The stimulus money was meant to turn the tide of the recession by stopping job losses, creating new employment and generally investing in the country’s infrastructure, including “green” energy. Obama promised it “includes help for those hardest hit by our economic crisis,” and “as a whole, this plan will help poor and working Americans.” That was a lie, says Stephen Goldberg, author of Obama’s Shorts (www.ObamasShorts.com), a collection of 23 satirical short stories that take a humorous look at the new rules and regulations governing Americans’ lives.

The states hardest hit by the recession received the least money.  Instead of helping out those in the toughest shape, Obama’s stimulus ended up helping his supporters, including unions and many very wealthy supporters. Can you say cha-ching!?

“Our ‘recovery’ is stagnant at best; we got a flaccid return on the stimulus. For all the money spent, we have received very little hope and change in return.”

Goldberg says a side-by-side snapshot of where the country stood when Obama took office in January 2009 and where things are now paints a clear picture:

• Unemployment Then: 7.8 percent
Unemployment Now: 8.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
• National Average for Gas Prices Then: $1.83
National Average for Gas Prices Now: $3.87, according to the Energy Information Administration
• National Debt Then: $10.627 trillion
National Debt Now: $15.620 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department
• Americans on Food Stamps Then: 31,983,716
Americans on Food Stamps Now (as of January): 46,449,850, according to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP

Many blame this year’s disappointing first-quarter economic recovery figures on Europe’s marketplace troubles, uncontrollable oil prices and skittish-to-hire employers.

“Mr. Obama didn’t say he was going to be the ‘it gets worse before it gets better’ president.” Goldberg says. “Isn’t anyone tired of excuses from politicians and their friends? There are always external factors, but that’s where smarter policy needs to come in. All presidents have faced serious problems that had to be solved.

With unemployment ranging from 8 to 10 percent during Obama’s four years, Goldberg worries that millions of Americans have gotten used to handouts.

“Millions were filled with optimism when Obama took office,” he says. “People compared him to Kennedy, who despite some of his shortcomings said to young people, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ I think that message to young people is now reversed.”

About Stephen Goldberg

Stephen Goldberg is a conservative political pundit who posts his wry observations on breaking news at www.obamasshorts.com. He started his professional life as a comedian and turned to dentistry as a more reliable way to make a living – though he never stopped getting his audience to laugh. He’s been married 45 years and has three children and three grandchildren.

Organizing for America Iowa Opens Office in Muscatine PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Obama for America Press Office   
Monday, 25 June 2012 09:14

DES MOINES – Organizing for America Iowa has opened an office in Muscatine County with Rep. Dave Loebsack. The Muscatine office is the 10th campaign office in Iowa. It follows the opening of the Mason City office, which took place last Wednesday.

The Obama campaign has been on the ground building a network of volunteers and reaching out to friends and neighbors in local communities about the progress President Obama has made to strengthen the economy for the long term and provide economic security to middle class families, while the Romney campaign’s strategy is to bombard the airwaves with ads funded by billionaire-backed superPACs.

This election offers Iowans two drastically different campaign approaches and two fundamentally different visions of how to grow the economy, create middle-class jobs, and pay down the debt.  Governor Romney believes that if you take away regulations and cut taxes by trillions of dollars, the market will solve all our problems on its own.  While the President believes the economy grows not from the top down, but from the middle class up, and he has an economic plan to do that -- a plan that focuses on education, energy, innovation, infrastructure, and a tax code that creates American jobs and pays down our debt in a way that's balanced.

OFA Muscatine Office

1012 E. 9th St.

Muscatine, IA


Newton Mayor Chaz Allen Responds to Mitt Romney’s Record of Outsourcing Jobs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Elizabeth Purchia   
Monday, 25 June 2012 09:10

DES MOINES – Today, Newton Mayor Chaz Allen released the following reaction to the Washington Post story, which exposed Mitt Romney's breathtaking hypocrisy. Romney campaigns all over this country vowing that he would be an advocate for American jobs, but his record at Bain Capital shows a history of making a fortune advising companies on how to outsource jobs to China and India:

“It’s like a punch in the gut to learn that Mitt Romney, the man who wants to be our next President was an outsourcing pioneer. On the campaign trail, he tells us that he supports American jobs. But as a new Washington Post article reveals, he was a corporate raider at Bain Capital, the financial firm he started. Romney made a fortune helping companies outsource jobs done by American workers to China and India.

“Clearly, Mitt Romney never personally experienced what happens when the main employer in your town picks and moves jobs overseas.  In Newton, we lived through that. Our friends and neighbors lost their livelihoods and were faced with the sudden crisis of wondering where their next paycheck would come from.

“Since day one, President Obama has been fighting for all of us, to strengthen the middle class and build an economy for the long-term. He has been to Newton twice, and because of his support for the wind industry, Newton is coming back with the support of new wind manufacturing jobs. Under his Presidency in fact, Iowa has added nearly 20,000 new manufacturing jobs.

“Mitt Romney’s record shows that was focused on maximizing profits for himself and his investors before workers, companies and communities.  He shows us once again that Romney Economics don’t work. The job of the President is to care about all Americans, not just the top few.”


Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas 

By Tom Hamburger, Thursday, June 21, 7:53 PM

Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.

During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

While economists debate whether the massive outsourcing of American jobs over the last generation was inevitable, Romney in recent months has lamented the toll it’s taken on the U.S. economy. He has repeatedly pledged he would protect American employment by getting tough on China.

“They’ve been able to put American businesses out of business and kill American jobs,” he told workers at a Toledo fence factory in February. “If I’m president of the United States, that’s going to end.”

Speaking at a metalworking factory in Cincinnati last week, Romney cited his experience as a businessman, saying he knows what it would take to bring employers back to the United States. “For me it’s all about good jobs for the American people and a bright and prosperous future,” he said.

For years, Romney’s political opponents have tried to tie him to the practice of outsourcing American jobs. These political attacks have often focused on Bain’s involvement in specific business deals that resulted in job losses.

But a Washington Post examination of securities filings shows the extent of Bain’s investment in firms that specialized in helping other companies move or expand operations overseas. While Bain was not the largest player in the outsourcing field, the private equity firm was involved early on, at a time when the departure of jobs from the United States was beginning to accelerate and new companies were emerging as handmaidens to this outflow of employment.

Bain played several roles in helping these outsourcing companies, such as investing venture capital so they could grow and providing management and strategic business advice as they navigated this rapidly developing field.

Over the past two decades, American companies have dramatically expanded their overseas operations and supply networks, especially in Asia, while shrinking their workforces at home. McKinsey Global Institute estimated in 2006 that $18.4 billion in global information technology work and $11.4 billion in business-process services have been moved abroad.

While the export of jobs has been disruptive for many workers and communities in the United States, outsourcing has been a powerful economic force. It has often helped lower the prices that American consumers pay for products and created a global supply chain that has made U.S. companies more nimble and profitable.

Romney campaign officials repeatedly declined requests to comment on Bain’s record of investing in outsourcing firms during the Romney era. Campaign officials have said it is unfair to criticize Romney for investments made by Bain after he left the firm but did not address those made on his watch. In response to detailed questions about outsourcing investments, Bain spokesman Alex Stanton said, “Bain Capital’s business model has always been to build great companies and improve their operations. We have helped the 350 companies in which we have invested, which include over 100 start-up businesses, produce $80 billion of revenue growth in the United States while growing their revenues well over twice as fast as both the S&P and the U.S. economy over the last 28 years.”

Until Romney left Bain Capital in 1999, he ran it with a proprietor’s zeal and attention to detail, earning a reputation for smart, hands-on management.

Bain’s foray into outsourcing began in 1993 when the private equity firm took a stake in Corporate Software Inc., or CSI, after helping to finance a $93 million buyout of the firm. CSI, which catered to technology companies like Microsoft, provided a range of services including outsourcing of customer support. Initially, CSI employed U.S. workers to provide these services but by the mid-1990s was setting up call centers outside the country.

Two years after Bain invested in the firm, CSI merged with another enterprise to form a new company called Stream International Inc. Stream immediately became active in the growing field of overseas calls centers. Bain was initially a minority shareholder in Stream and was active in running the company, providing “general executive and management services,” according to SEC filings.

By 1997, Stream was running three tech-support call centers in Europe and was part of a call center joint venture in Japan, an SEC filing shows. “The Company believes that the trend toward outsourcing technical support occurring in the U.S. is also occurring in international markets,” the SEC filing said.

Stream continued to expand its overseas call centers. And Bain’s role also grew with time. It ultimately became the majority shareholder in Stream in 1999 several months after Romney left Bain to run the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Bain sold its stake in Stream in 2001, after the company further expanded its call center operations across Europe and Asia.

The corporate merger that created Stream also gave birth to another, related business known as Modus Media Inc., which specialized in helping companies outsource their manufacturing. Modus Media was a subsidiary of Stream that became an independent company in early 1998. Bain was the largest shareholder, SEC filings show.

Modus Media grew rapidly. In December 1997, it announced it had contracted with Microsoft to produce software and training products at a center in Australia. Modus Media said it was already serving Microsoft from Asian locations in Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan and in Europe and the United States.

Two years later, Modus Media told the SEC it was performing outsource packaging and hardware assembly for IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. The filing disclosed that Modus had operations on four continents, including Asian facilities in Singapore, Taiwan, China and South Korea, and European facilities in Ireland and France, and a center in Australia.

“Technology companies, in particular, have increasingly sought to outsource the business processes involved in their supply chains,” the filing said. “. . . We offer a range of services that provide our clients with a one-stop shop for their outsource requirements.”

According to a news release issued by Modus Media in 1997, its expansion of outsourcing services took place in close consultation with Bain. Terry Leahy, Modus’s chairman and chief executive, was quoted in the release as saying he would be “working closely with Bain on strategic expansion.” At the time, three Bain directors sat on the corporate board of Modus.

The global expansion that began while Romney was at Bain continued after he left. In 2000, the firm announced it was opening a new facility in Guadalajara, Mexico, and expanding in China, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

In addition to taking an interest in companies that specialized in outsourcing services, Bain also invested in firms that moved or expanded their own operations outside of the United States.

One of those was a California bicycle manufacturer called GT Bicycle Inc. that Bain bought in 1993. The growing company relied on Asian labor, according to SEC filings. Two years later, with the company continuing to expand, Bain helped take it public. In 1998, when Bain owned 22 percent of GT’s stock and had three members on the board, the bicycle maker was sold to Schwinn, which had also moved much of its manufacturing offshore as part of a wider trend in the bicycle industry of turning to Chinese labor.

Another Bain investment was electronics manufacturer SMTC Corp. In June 1998, during Romney’s last year at Bain, his private equity firm acquired a Colorado manufacturer that specialized in the assembly of printed circuit boards. That was one of several preliminary steps in 1998 that would culminate in a corporate merger a year later, five months after Romney left Bain. In July 1999, the Colorado firm acquired SMTC Corp., SEC filings show. Bain became the largest shareholder of SMTC and held three seats on its corporate board. Within a year of Bain taking over, SMTC told the SEC it was expanding production in Ireland and Mexico.

In its prospectus that year, SMTC explained that it was in a strong position to meet the swelling demand from other manufacturers for overseas production of circuit boards. The company said that communications and networking companies “are dramatically increasing the amount of manufacturing they are outsourcing and we believe our technological capabilities and global manufacturing platform are well suited to capitalize on this opportunity.”

Just as Romney was ending his tenure at Bain, it reached the culmination of negotiations with Hyundai Electronics Industry of South Korea for the $550 million purchase of its U.S. subsidiary, Chippac, which manufactured, tested and packaged computer chips in Asia. The deal was announced a month after Romney left Bain. Reports filed with the SEC in late 1999 showed that Chippac had plants in South Korea and China and was responsible for marketing and supplying the company’s Asian-made computer chips. An overwhelming majority of Chippac’s customers were U.S. firms, including Intel, IBM and Lucent Technologies.

A filing with the SEC revealed the promise that Chippac offered investors. “Historically, semiconductor companies primarily manufactured semiconductors in their own facilities,” the filing said. “Today, most major semiconductor manufacturers use independent packaging and test service providers for at least a portion of their . . . needs. We expect this outsourcing trend to continue.”

Research editor Alice Crites contributed to this article.

Loebsack, Cole Applaud Senate Passage of Language to Strip National Political Convention Funding PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 25 June 2012 08:51

Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Tom Cole (OK-04) today applauded the Senate passage of language that would strip tax payer funding for this fall’s political party conventions. Cole introduced similar legislation in the House and Loebsack recently became the first Democrat to cosponsor the bill.  The Senate attached this language as an amendment to the Farm Bill by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 95-4.

“I applaud the Senate for including language to strip this unnecessary funding.  Both Democrats and Republicans are fully capable of funding their own party conventions and do not need to have this tax payer subsidy,” said Loebsack.  “I am hopeful the House will move on Congressman Cole’s legislation after such a strong, bipartisan vote in the Senate.”

"The overwhelming Senate vote in favor of ending taxpayer funding of political conventions is proof that it's time to terminate this outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Cole. “After 40 straight months of 8 percent unemployment and massive budget deficits, it would be an embarrassment to go into this year's conventions with this policy still in place.  The House has already voted to end funding once.  With passage of the Senate amendment, I'm hopeful that we can build on the growing bipartisan support to sign this commonsense reform into law before another dollar of taxpayer money is wasted on conventions."


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