Thursday, 9 August:
The anti-Romney cancer ad steelworker turned down coverage and a buyout
According to the NYTimes, Mitt Romney left Bain in early 1999
Jonathan Lavine, managing director at Bain Capital.
At the time, GST’s union blamed the company’s bankruptcy on the political class, for failing to hamstring imports. “We can’t compete against the steel imports that are being sold under cost,” said the president of GST’s union in 2001. “Our pleas fell on deaf ears in the political arena.” The Bush administration would ultimately slap on giant tariffs.
The bankruptcies were led by unionized companies that, like airlines and textiles and Detroit, had negotiated pay and benefits that helped drive their employers under. GST’s pension benefits would get passed on to the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which in 2002 received $7.5 billion in claims from the steel industry alone. The PBGC covered GST’s basic pension payouts.
The Obama ad doesn’t note that the broader company, GS Industries, employed 3,500 and that the Kansas City plant (with 750 workers) was the only one shuttered. Other plants were bought and operate today. Nor does it mention Bain’s other steel investment in the early 1990s, in an Indiana start-up called Steel Dynamics. The firm touts innovative technology and a nonunion workforce. It today reports $6.3 billion in revenue—25 times what it claimed in its 1996 IPO—and employs 6,000.
A private-equity firm looking to quickly strip value from a company—to “suck” the life out of it—does not do so by investing $100 million in modernization and holding on for eight years, through bankruptcy. Bain has surely made its share of mistakes, and one may well have been trying to resuscitate a traditional steel firm in the grip of industry upheaval. The irony, says Mr. Huselton, is that this plant “wouldn’t even be in today’s news, if it hadn’t been the opportunity that came with Bain. Those jobs would have been gone in 1993.”
UPDATE – 2006 Woman mentioned in Priorities ad died in ’06
In the case of this particularly jarring super PAC ad, it may also be relevant that Soptic’s wife died in 2006, years after the GST factory closed down.
A 2006 story in the Kansas City Star reported the death of Ranae Soptic, a former champion roller skater: “Soptic went to the hospital for pneumonia, but doctors found signs of very advanced cancer, and she died two weeks later on June 22.”
We could do some unpacking and note that a cancer that kills its victim in 22 days is not a cancer that’s likely to respond even to the best treatments money can buy. We could also note that under Obama’s plan, energy rates skyrocketed and insurance rates have gone up, both of which have gobbled up middle class savings. We could note that under Obama’s plan, the federal government will end up rationing care and might have ruled the man’s wife unworthy of saving. We could note that under Obama’s plan, many companies are contemplating dropping coverage for their workers because they don’t want the liabilities. We could also note that under Obama’s plan, welfare reform has been gutted, illegal aliens have been granted an amnesty-lite by fiat, and the freedom of conscience has been unilaterally repealed. Obama did all of that.
Here’s the ad,
A widower UPDATE: LYING blaming a man he’s never met for his wife’s death.
It pulls at the heartstrings, and researching the background information is time-consuming. People will believe the ad.
When you can’t run on your record, you can only be purposely toxic…while raking in the bundlers’ cash.
Fox News CNN, that arm of the vast right-wing conspiracy, did some journalism:
CNN has blown this ad apart, finding that the woman continued to have health insurance through her own employer after her husband was terminated.