The mail houses are revving up and the political commercials are starting to be produced, and in just a few short months candidates will ask voters to support them promising that their election will protect jobs and help the local economy.
But when it comes to keeping taxpayer supported jobs inside the United States, Democrats have been pushing laws that keep American tax dollars in the American economy while Republicans have used their control of state legislatures to protect corporations at the expense of American employees and taxpayers.
In Maryland the Democratic controlled legislature passed legislation that requires companies bidding on state contracts of $2 million or more with the state to disclose whether any of that work will be performed outside the United States.
Signed by Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley, the new law also prohibits public employers from contracting for specific services unless those services are to be provided in the United States and requires that state contracts for architectural, construction and engineering services, as well as energy performance contract services, must be performed in the United States.
You would hope that protecting jobs and helping state economies would be a non-partisan issue on which legislators of both parties could work together to benefit their constituents.
But, alas, all you need to do is travel to Colorado to find that for legislative Republicans, partisan politics trumps protecting jobs and the Colorado taxpayer.
Colorado Democratic Senator Mike Johnston introduced legislation, much like Maryland’s legislation, that would require anyone who has a minimum $250,000 contract with the state to notify the state if the work associated with the contract is going to be performed outside the United States.
People should know if their tax dollars are propping up jobs outside the country, and the Democratic controlled senate agreed and passed the bill.
As Senator Johnston said about the legislation, “This bill is about supporting Colorado jobs and ensuring that we prepare the future workforce with the education and skills they need to compete in the global job market.”
Unfortunately, Colorado House Republicans did not agree. When this legislation arrived in the Republican-controlled house they referred the bill to the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee (known as the "kill committee" - the same committee where the wildly popular civil unions bill was sent to die). And there it stayed, postponed indefinitely--never even receiving a hearing.
As the nation’s economy is working to recover, legislatures need to work to grow and sustain jobs inside the United States.
Democrats are fighting to make sure that our tax dollars are creating jobs, and that when they do go overseas contractors are honest and upfront with state officials and taxpayers.
Republicans are using legislative maneuvers to kill these common sense proposals.
So in a few months when the glossy mailers arrive from Republican candidates promising to help local economies, remember that when they had the opportunity to make good on such promises, they used legislative maneuvers to support special interests instead.
Because when it comes to creating jobs - or shipping them abroad - actions in the capitol speak louder than words in a commercial.