The CT Mirror sets the stage:
Near the gate of a doomed paper mill, Republican Tom Foley alighted from the back seat of a blue BMW sedan Tuesday to assail the economic policies of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, only to find himself in a raucous street debate with the local first selectwoman and soon-to-be jobless workers.Please read below the fold for more on this story and to see the clip.
Foley, a candidate for governor, came to fault Malloy for the recently announced plans by a global investment firm to close Fusion Paperboard, costing 140 jobs in this struggling mill town. By the time he left, Foley had defended the decision of the absentee owners and told the selectwoman and workers they shared blame for the mill’s demise.
“You want to blame people who are hundreds or thousands of miles away, malign management,” Foley told the workers and First Selectwoman Cathy Osten, a Democratic state senator and Malloy supporter. “Listen, you have failed, because you have lost these jobs.”
Here's the clip:
A little backstory—the Fusion Paperboard Company makes recycled cardboard boxes (pizza boxes, etc) and has been around since the 1960s. Last week they announced they were closing, despite heavy volume and a 17 day back order, leaving 145 employees facing unemployment, many of whom had worked for the factory for decades.
In 2013, OpenGate Financial, the investment firm that owns Fusion, applied for and received a $2 million loan (plus an optional $1 million more), with a promise of expanding the plant over the next 10 years. After six years of concessions, workers at the mill agreed to a new six year contract just days before the closure was announced. With a promise of expansion, a new union contract and a heavy volume of orders, things were looking up.
And suddenly, without explanation, OpenGate Financial announced the mill would be closing. But, why? Because OpenGate Financial decided to sell all of the equipment to the largest competitor, thereby shrinking the competition. If this all sounds familiar, it is because these are exactly the type of stomach-churning tactics used by Bain Capital and the Mitt Romney's of the world.
When questioned further about what Tom Foley would do differently than Governor Malloy to keep businesses in Connecticut, his response was:
I wouldn't have instituted the anti-business policies that Governor Malloy did. Things like mandatory sick leave, raising energy costs, uhhh, just the negative signals he sends out.THINGS LIKE MANDATORY SICK LEAVE. Wow. Businessman Tom Foley has come down very decidedly on the side of big business, no matter the cost to the working voters of Connecticut. Forget voters, this is about shareholders. Can Connecticut afford Tom Foley? No. Hell no.
Foley rolled in to use the Fusion Paperboard Company as nothing more than a prop and a backdrop for his nonsensical talking points and he got his ass handed to him by the people in the district that will be affected the hardest. They grilled him on how he would've saved their jobs and his response? To blame the workers themselves.
The disastrous press conference was 30 minutes long, but it is eye popping and most definitely worth watching. Especially if you or someone you know is voting in Connecticut this fall.