The Wire

The Wire

Breaking: Koch Industries' Outsourcing and Job Loss

In a recent television advertisement Koch Industries touted the growth of the company to create “60,000 American jobs.” The true story paints a picture of Koch Industries’ long history of job losses and outsourcing, resulting in nearly 3,000 American jobs sent overseas.

Outsourcing

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal job training program that provides assistance to workers who lose their jobs as a result of competing foreign imports or direct outsourcing.  An analysis of TAA cases, news articles, shipping records, and layoff notices revealed examples of outsourcing at 13 Koch Industries facilities, and potential outsourcing at additional facilities.

  • In 2003, Koch laid off 150 employees at a KoSa plant in Shelby, North Carolina.  In 2004, the Department of Labor certified that a portion of 150 employees who had been laid off at a plant in Shelby, NC, were eligible for TAA as a result of outsourcing to Mexico.  Former employees at the Shelby facility later filed suit against Koch claiming that the company pushed workers to, according to a former worker, “leave gracefully” or “be victims of downsizing.” (Source)
  • In 2004, Koch outsourced 175 jobs from an Invista plant to Mexico, less than a month after purchasing the plant. Koch Industries had promised to retain all employees.  In late 2006 and early 2007 more workers jobs were outsourced to Mexico, as detailed by the US Court of International Trade. (Sources 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • In 2004, some 35 workers were laid off at an Invista plant in Athens, Georgia.  In 2006, they were certified eligible for TAA because of outsourcing to Mexico. In 2008, the plant laid off an additional, 50 employees. (Source)
The Wire

New Video — Joni Ernst: Trajectory

Newly released audio recordings from the Koch brothers’ summit of billionaires and bought candidates this week reveals the extent to which candidates like Joni Ernst are inextricably tied to the oil lords and their anti-working families agenda.

Ernst did not parse words in crediting the Kochs and their extensive network for getting her to where she is today. Now, the billionaire brothers are reaping the benefits of their investment, as Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee in a key senate race, sings the Koch gospel on issue after issue.

The Wire

Doug Ducey's Rocky Road To Defeat

Primary season has come to an end in Arizona, and former Cold Stone Creamery CEO Doug Ducey managed to hole up down the stretch and emerge as the Republican nominee for governor. The Tea Party favorite poured nearly $3 million into his own campaign and skipped a slew of debates en route to his unceremonious victory tonight. But the shady businessman can hide no longer — and when the spotlight shines on his record, his political ambitions are bound to melt away.

Ducey has touted endorsements from the likes of Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, but was spurned by conservative Governor Jan Brewer, who opted to support a less extreme candidate to be her successor. Perhaps health care is at the root of their chasm — Brewer worked to expand Medicaid in Arizona, calling it a “moral issue,” while Ducey has decried the expansion as a “middle class entitlement.”

But Ducey’s extremism is hardly limited to ensuring access to health care for his constituents. Ducey has close ties to the billionaire Koch brothers and their operatives, and unsurprisingly, he toes the Koch agenda line on nearly every issue. Ducey has opposed raising the minimum wage, expressed outrage that the poorest Americans aren’t paying enough taxes, supported the claim that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, and the list goes on.

The Wire

American Bridge Submits FOIA Request For Gov. Corbett's Phone Records

It isn’t every day that the chief executive of a state admits that he expressly operates in a manner to skirt transparency laws. But that’s exactly what Governor Corbett has done.

As the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported last week, Corbett has gone to incredible lengths to conduct business outside of the public eye:

“The governor said he rarely uses email because he knows reporters would file Right-To-Know requests to get them. Instead, he said, he uses the telephone. He said he needs the freedom to be able to express opinions that he may later want to change. Mr. Corbett said he deletes his emails about once a week.”

That’s a stunning concession and one that demonstrates contempt for the spirit of open democracy. As such, American Bridge is issuing a FOIA request for Governor Corbett’s official phone records. The people of Pennsylvania deserve to know exactly what their governor has made such a concerted effort to conceal.

Click here to view FOIA request.

The Wire

Happy Akin-versary!

Zero score and two years ago today, Todd Akin shook the political world with his now infamous claim that “[in the case of] a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

We could go on for hours mocking Akin’s asinine comments and his recent attempt to rehabilitate his image, which included a retraction of his apology and a slew of evidence that he still doesn’t understand why anybody was offended in the first place.

But at this point, Akin is nothing more than another extreme Tea Party has-been. What’s far more important is that, while Akin may have had a unique flare for the offensive, his extreme positions on women’s health are anything but unique within the Republican party.

Supporting so-called “personhood” is the de facto position in today’s GOP — a position that could make common forms of birth control like the pill illegal. Many Republican candidates oppose abortion even in the case of rape or incest, and some have gone as far to oppose it even when the mother’s life is in danger.Republicans have voted to slash funding for Planned Parenthood and redefine rape as “forcible rape,” and the list goes on and on.

So today, American Bridge is relaunching ItsNotJustAkin.com to continue to expose Republican candidates for their ongoing efforts to regulate women’s bodies. Todd Akin may not be in Congress anymore, but his legacy lives on.

The Wire

Oops

Once upon a time, there was a belief that Republican governors like Rick Perry and Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie and Scott Walker, represented a bright future and a new direction for the GOP. 

Well it’s a new direction alright — courtward. Bob McDonnell may have started the scandal train, but now everybody is hopping on board. Chris Christie is jamming bridges as political retribution and Scott Walker is allegedly at the “center of a criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate campaign spending. With his counterparts embroiled in scandal and hogging attention, Rick Perry damn near lost relevance… until today.

Not to be outdone, Perry went ahead and abused his power as governor, finally getting back in the spotlight with a couple felony indictments. Phew, that was close.

There was a time when these four governors were celebrated for charting a new vision and speaking with conviction.

These days, the closest thing they have to a new vision is Rick Perry’s hipster glasses. And the closest thing they have to conviction is…well, conviction. But not the good kind.