It’s no secret that Mitt Romney’s checkered business career was part of what doomed his election hopes in 2012. When people looked at Mitt Romney, they saw a vulture capitalist who was willing to close down American plants, lay off workers, and ship jobs overseas, so long as it helped their bottom dollar.
Having run for president, Romney’s business practices are likely the most infamous among Republican politicians, but he’s hardly alone. This year, key GOP candidates in close senate and gubernatorial races espouse the same self-interested philosophy — reaping profits while hurting American workers.
In Georgia, David Perdue’s campaign was rocked as POLITICO reported that Perdue had stated plainly in a 2005 deposition that he had “spent most of his career” outsourcing. This statement itself would have been severely damaging to Perdue’s candidacy, but what was even more detrimental, perhaps because it was so revealing, was Perdue’s dumbfounded response to the story. Asked how he would defend his outsourcing career, Perdue looked surprised — “Well defend it? I’m proud of it!”
In Illinois, billionaire gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, who took a page out of Romney’s playbook and funneled millions in profits to Cayman Island tax shelters to avoid paying American taxes, has demonstrated similar priorities. Rauner’s vast portfolio while at GTCR, the private equity firm he co-founded, included directing H-Cube, a “premier global business outsourcing firm.” And just this month, we learned that a lawsuit has been launched by the former CEO of LeapSource, another outsourcing company where Rauner sat on the board, alleging personal threats from Rauner over her lack of success as their CEO.
Scott Brown has earned $270,000 from sitting on the board of a company that ships jobs overseas. Mike McFadden and his investment firm helped reincorporate an American pharmaceutical company in Ireland to avoid paying United States taxes. Scott Walker’s economic development agency gave Wisconsin taxpayer money to companies that turned around and outsourced jobs. The list goes on and on. And even those Republicans who don’t personally benefit, at least ostensibly from these sort of maneuvers, toe the party line in their support.
It all starts from the de facto leaders of today’s GOP, the Koch Brothers. The Kochs built their massive empire without regard for anything other than their own bottom line. They’ve caused massive damage to the environment and shed thousands of American jobs along their way to the top. Time and time again, hard-working employees at Koch Industries and their subsidiaries watched as their jobs were sent to Mexico, Canada and China. Now the Kochs’ calling the shots in the Republican party, using their money to buy political positions for extreme candidates who will push their self-serving agenda.
Candidates supported by the Koch brothers, like Thom Tillis, Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst, and more are fighting against ending corporate tax inversions. They’re fighting against closing loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas. For a party that constantly campaigns on putting Americans back to work, their rhetoric is belied by their actions.
But the American people said no to this playbook before when they handed Mitt a resounding defeat, and they will do it again. Americans want leaders who will fight for American workers, not just for billionaires and special interests.