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When, in his first debate with President Obama, Mitt Romney claimed to know nothing about tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, did he spare a thought for workers at Sensata Technologies, a company controlled by Bain Capital with significant investments from Romney himself, who are about to become unemployed as their jobs are moved to China?

Romney said to Obama that "you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. Look, I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you're talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant." Obama was right; Romney was wrong. Romney wasn't just wrong, though. He was heartless, dismissing the possibility of tax breaks for offshoring plants as a matter for his accountant, not a matter of people's lives and livelihoods. And at the very moment he was saying this, Sensata workers in Illinois were fighting to keep their jobs from going to Chinese replacement workers they had been forced to train themselves. Though Sensata is very profitable, Bain saw a chance for more profits in China, and saw 170 American jobs as disposable in pursuit of that profit.

The Sensata workers have been fighting for months, fighting to save their jobs or even to get people to pay attention to what's happening to them. They're not just losing jobs they've held for decades, in some cases. Workers close to retirement won't get their retirement. Instead, they'll get severance. But severance packages were cut shortly before the layoffs were announced, so that, for instance, one worker who would have gotten more than a year of severance pay will now only get 26 weeks. This is a fight for what they've earned through years of hard work. It's a fight for their ability to pay the mortgage or send their kids to college, for their lives as they have lived them for decades working in this plant.

They've fought to get a moment of Mitt Romney's attention, anything beyond a canned statement that he has nothing to do with the offshoring he'll profit from.

When they tried to deliver a letter to Romney at a Romney campaign office, campaign staffers called the police on them.

They've delivered 35,000 petition signatures to Bain Capital asking for their jobs to be saved.

They've camped out outside the factory, and three of their supporters, including the teenage daughter of a Sensata worker, have been arrested trying to block equipment from being moved out of the plant.

And for Mitt Romney, this is a glib line about needing a better accountant. It's about squeezing a little more out of the tens of millions of dollars he gets from Bain every year.

Not that voters would know anything about it if he did, since he's so determined to hide his tax returns from us peons. We do know that Romney has already gotten personal tax savings for donating Sensata stock to charitable foundations. Beyond that? He won't let us know what he's been up to. It is true that the amount of the tax break Sensata stands to get for moving operations overseas is small compared to the amount it will save by cutting well-paid jobs in America and replacing them with jobs paying 99 cents an hour, 12 hours a day in China. But I guarantee you Romney's accountant knows all about it—and that Romney does, too.

Even in the middle of a tight race for president, Mitt Romney doesn't care to help these workers. Maybe if they were from Ohio, not Illinois, things would be different. But they're just workers making him profit, not valuable swing-state voters, so to Romney, these Americans are disposable.

Send a message of support to the Sensata workers as they fight to keep their jobs and shine a light on what a Romney economy would look like.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Obama should ask "Have you gotten a new accountant (18+ / 0-)

    yet?" at the next debate.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:43:18 AM PDT

  •  this is the main story of this election (17+ / 0-)

    It could just be me, but this has moved me like no other this year.

    For all the tacky moments, the needless lies, and empty chairs, this is what the election is about. Hard working people that just want to get by, just want an honest wage for honest work. And corporate America makes it so hard to accomplish that.

    why is it so hard to have an  american flag fly over a working plant where workers are valued?

    "With malice toward none, with charity for all..." -Abraham Lincoln not a modern republican

    by live1 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:56:17 AM PDT

  •  I have signed the Sensata workers' petition and (5+ / 0-)

    written them lyrics for a protest song.
    American voters need to stand with American workers, not the fat-cat overlords.  Patriotism is NOT paying a Chinese worker 99 cents an hour and pocketing the difference between that wage and the original American worker's wage.  That kind of cost-cutting looks like THEFT to me.

    Hey, Mitt! TAX FORMS! Can you really win by betting against voters' rights to THE TRUTH?

    by vahana on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:56:48 AM PDT

  •  News headlines on Saturday (11+ / 0-)

    all about Romney/Ryan hitting Obama on China w/out a mention of Sensata.
    WTF Huffpo, Politico, CNN, MSNBC , Yahoo - here's your headline:

  •  there is a diary fom wendi kent with some great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wendi Kent, RiseUpEconomics

    pictures of Bainport.  thought i would pass that on if anyone missed it!

    "With malice toward none, with charity for all..." -Abraham Lincoln not a modern republican

    by live1 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:00:46 AM PDT

  •  Here's what I don't understand... (0+ / 0-)

    The closing down of this plant - which will impact the entire town, the fighting these employees have done and only THREE people showed up for the protest.

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:05:22 AM PDT

  •  So, when Romney promises a plethora of new jobs, (13+ / 0-)

    he forgot to add the caveat that they would be created in China while his bank accounts are lined with the profits.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:09:18 AM PDT

  •  In what dark, dank world do the congresscritters (4+ / 0-)

    live who passed a tax break for companies who move their plants overseas?  How much money did corporations "donate" to congressional representatives to make sure such a bill passed and what president should we lynch for signing it?

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:14:51 AM PDT

    •  Mischaracterized (0+ / 0-)

      It's not a tax break for moving either jobs or factories overseas. It's a deduction for the expense of moving anything business-related to anywhere. If the producers of some TV show put out champagne and caviar for a press junket, they deduct that as a business expense, but it's not that there is a "champagne and caviar" deduction built into the tax code.

  •  It really just frosts my cornflakes that (7+ / 0-)

    Romney is so frikking arrogant that they couldn't even wait until after the election to do this deal.  The 1% think so little of us peons they don't even try to hide what they are doing.  

    I know, I know!  Romney is going to claim his interests are in a "blind" trust and blah blah blah, but everyone knows that Bain would have waited to do this if he asked them to.  

    It's like it's not enough for them to commit the act--they have to shove our collective noses in it and rub them there.

    This story is the one we should focus on.    

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:17:17 AM PDT

    •  Romney doesn't have any control over (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hmi, VClib

      the deal.  

      •  But the company was essentially Romney. (5+ / 0-)

        Yes he may have "retroactively retired" years ago but it is still his main source of income and what they do reflects the character of the man who claims he built that company all by himself. It's not like he has no contact with the guys running the show now and making him millions. He's running for office, for Pete's sake!

        •  Dezza - In addition to approaching Romney (0+ / 0-)

          which I agree is a good move politically, I wonder why the employees have not contacted the handful of very active Democrats who are on the current management committee at Bain Capital? One of the BC partners ran in the Dem primary for the US Senate in 2010. If the goal is to help the employees, a few of the BC partners have been Obama supporters, why not have the President call them?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 12:16:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Mitt Romney doesn't need (5+ / 0-)

    a new accountant. What he needs is a heart. And a functioning brain.

    He who is carried away by his own importance seldom has far to walk back.

    by StateOfGrace on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:19:00 AM PDT

    •  I really don't get people like him. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      It's about squeezing a little more out of the tens of millions of dollars he gets from Bain every year.
      As I wrote in another thread recently:
      What I really don't get about the mindset of such people is:  How much money do they need?

      How much money is enough?

      Who really needs hundreds of millions ... billions ... tens of billions ... of dollars, to the point where they are so desperate for more that they will resort to hurting and destroying millions of innocent people in order to get a bit more that they really don't even need?

      What exactly does the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth hundred million buy them that the first couldn't?

      Exactly how large is the psychological/emotional emptiness in such people that even millions of dollars, and all the luxuries it will buy, isn't enough fill the hole?

      Being forced to watch Romney so much lately ... seeing how millionaires talk to each other behind closed doors ... watching Republicans being so blatant in their "Coddle the rich, screw everyone else" agenda ... hearing of corporate billionaires bullying their employees to vote in their interests, not the employees' own ...

      That question has been going through my mind a lot lately.

      I would really like to see someone ask him right out:  "Mitt, why do you really need that much money?"

      Commenter earicicle had a great comment in response:

      An empty soul is a powerful vacuum.
  •  Signed, but WHY are people not getting this! (12+ / 0-)

    If you want a job in THIS country, vote for the President.

    If you want health care for you and your family, especially your wife and your daughters,  vote for the President.

    If you are a working woman, vote for the President.

    If you work in the auto industry, its supply chain or any business, including restaurants, retail that depend on it, vote for the President.

    What is there not to understand!

    •  That goddamned (racial eptithet) (5+ / 0-)

      can promise me all the jobs and healthcare and economic security he wants, the WHITE House is WHITE for a REASON! Besides, I support the JOB CREATORS in this society, who have a God-given RIGHT to use THEIR PROPERTY how they see FIT, damn you!

      signed - the White Male Working Class for the past 40 years.

      As a black person, it's somewhat hard to resist the "cut nose to spite face" response, given that it has been overwhelmingly white blue collar males, many of them brought up in union households. The 1% didn't build this, at least not alone - it was with the roaring approval of a large part of the 99%.

      With that said, I absolutely support the Sensata fight, and all other union battles across this nation, but it's just frustrating how 45% of the 99% are willing to gloss over the literal expropriation of our national wealth on a grand scale.

      •  Yes it is, and very well said Hoshizora (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's like here dude take my house, take my healthcare, make me and my kids work endless hours in a sweatshop.  Take away weekends, 8 hour days, on the job protections and fill the oceans with sewage.

        Anything else I can do for you?

        And very big yesses to the folks at Sensata and the incredibly brave Walmart strikers.

  •  This video is awesome, and should be blasted (3+ / 0-)

    on the airways.  To me the most offensive part of Romney's resume is that he practically invented vulture capitalism.  I can't believe he's withing a few percentage points from Obama.

    •  Why Romney is closer than he should be (5+ / 0-)

      Mostly because Barack Obama is not a white man.  That's probably worth 5 percentage points right there.  Unfortunately, too many (mostly white) voters look for any fig leaf they can grab hold of to justify/cover up their inherent prejudice.  The first debate might have been the excuse many of them were looking for to rationalize their movement toward Romney.  That's why his Bain connection and lies need to be front and center tomorrow night.

  •  And I wish the President (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, rasfrome

    could help these people in some way.  Brokering another plant to go there?  Providing job training for other industries and helping them move there?

    I have no idea if he can do any of that, but I wish there was something he could do.

  •  Kind of OT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChiTownDenny, calamityjanee, Possiamo

    But the guitar signed by Kid Rock and Paul Ryan that the Romney campaign is giving away is an Epihone - once a Michigan company, now made in China. They Just. Don't. Give A Shit.

    It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

    by Blue Intrigue on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:27:50 AM PDT

  •  Freeport is about 95 miles.. (7+ / 0-)

    north west of me here in Aurora IL.
    During a leave of absence this past summer I spent many days there helping out in my sister in laws popcorn shop.
    This town has a lot of charm and the folks are so good and down to earth.
    Its a shame that even small towns like this cant escape the greed of predator corporations.
    They should hold a town hall debate in places like this.

    BTW. Freeport is famous for the fact that Abraham Lincoln held one of his famous debates against Sen. Stephen Douglas in the town square in 1858.


    "Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here." Marianne Williamson

    by Canadian Green Card Alien on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:27:57 AM PDT

  •  If Obama could effectively make ONE HALF (3+ / 0-)

    of the points that are made on DK EVERY DAY he would win the debate and presidency going away. Come on Barak! Wake up, Nail it and make us proud.

    I am pro-life. Bring our troops home ALIVE!

    by Doc Allen on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:29:19 AM PDT

    •  Not to nitpick (0+ / 0-)

      but you forgot the C(Barack)... We wouldn't want to confuse folks with the guy over in Israel, who by the way, seems to be leaning towards our President's way of thinking as far as Israel is concerned, if I'm not mistaken...

      The GOP hate me! I'm black, a woman, disabled veteran, divorced mother and liberal. THEY SUCK!

      by secret38b on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I have said before Obama and the OFA (0+ / 0-)

      will not say ANYTHING about this. Even though he is not a Wall St. puppet like Romney, the president is still too beholden to too many in the world of high finance to do something as bold as directly going against a business decision made by a private company.

      If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

      by MikePhoenix on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 12:46:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing that bugs me about this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txdemfem, kate mckinnon

    (And I'll admit this is a possible response that really isn't either a good one, or very kind, but it is the minimum concession one would expect from a heartless corporation caught in a bad PR situation.)

    Any corporation caught in a bad PR situation like this -- they're closing a factory & moving it to China the day before the election day for their favored candidate, who has pledged to stop these kinds of actions -- would announce they have suspended closing the plant for the moment to "re-evaluate" their strategies. And Romney has enough influence at Bain Capital -- despite his protestations to the contrary -- to do exactly that so it wouldn't be such a PR mess.

    Yes, this would be so much white-washing. Yes, doing this would only take attention off of this until a later time when they would continue with their plans. But has anyone at either Bain Capital or the Romney Campaign staff considered the best way to handle this would be to postpone the closing of this plant for a few weeks -- or even one day -- after the election? I think any savvy politician would have caught this months ago, & done the minimal white-washing so the plant wouldn't have closed the day before the election. And any half-way savvy politician would have done the minimum of suspending the closure until after the election.

    This is just a replay of Romney & his tax returns: he would rather shoot himself in the foot than admit he has made a mistake. And just like Bush II, he's providing evidence that disqualifies him to be president even before we consider his political agenda.

  •  RMoney Is NOT A Successful Businessman - He Is A (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, RiseUpEconomics, vcmvo2

    thief! Bain Capital steals jobs from hardworking Americans and moves them overseas, so CEO's and investors can pocket millions. Meanwhile entire communities are devasted - and it's not just the people that lose their jobs that are affected, it has a ripple effect on the other nearby businesses (grocery stores, gas stations, hair salons, etc.) that depend on those working people spending their paychecks in the local area.  And what about the costs of this to the taxpayers - the people that lose their jobs are now dependent on the social safety net - unemployment compensation, food stamps, Medicaid, etc.  I am so sick of liars and thiefs like Romney.
    We progressives need to elect a Congress with backbone that will get rid of the ridiculous tax breaks, subsidies, and loopholes that allow people like RMoney to pillage our economy.

    •  Corporate Welfare (0+ / 0-)

      Ballerina, you're talking about the corporate socialist society we live in. If it weren't for the high taxes in the late forties, fifties and sixties, the highways we drive on would he privately owned (that many are privately owned across this nation notwithstanding, especially in the East) and they'd be charging us to use them, I guess our sense of entitlement to use highways paid for by taxes is a misplaced sense of entitlement also. It would not surprise me if Romney wanted to privatize our highways, byways, and freeways, or should I say soon to be "Payways"(!), or would the term Romneyways be more appropriate! Rick Norlund

  •  I have been on Kos since 2004 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiseUpEconomics, Says Who, WakeUpNeo

    I have talked about, donated to and helped out in all of the Democratic races since then. I am an old NamVet who never gives up. I am extremely disappointed in the weakness of those who are involved in the day to day endeavors of reelecting President Obama. They are afraid to call out the lies of romney and his multi billionaire backers. TO THOSE INVOLVED, WHETHER IT BE BE IN PRINT OR TELEVISED NEWS, GROW SOME BALLS. CALL ROMNEY TO HIS FACE WHAT HE IS. A F'N LIAR. FORGET ABOUT WHAT THE CHICKEN** NEWS MEDIA SAYS. PUT UP THE FACTS AND CALL ON THEM TO ARGUE THEM . I CHALLENGE THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN, INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT TO DO THIS. If they do not, the surveys I have taken in my own county will prove the Democratic party as weak. I interviewed 110 in my county, some were old friends, and sixty said, basically, they were voting for the white man. I am pissed about romney being so close in this race. Obama is black. He is an American citizen. So was the one who saved my life in Nam.It is time to call these racist bas+++++ what they are.

  •  romney is anti-america (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and anyone that votes for him is anti-america, i don't want to hear the reasons or excuses thats the plain truth no matter how you look at it.

  •  obama should talk about this video on tues. - eo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    paul ryan created the deficit

    by rasfrome on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:39:51 AM PDT

  •  Thank you so much for this story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiseUpEconomics, vcmvo2

    It's such a better read with less "Chinese Flag On Top Of American Factory Except It Really Isn't" in it.

    It should be noted that this is simply the Romney way of making money- buy a company, load it with debt and crash it, or buy a company, get rid of the American workers, and replace them with Chinese.

    It's an everyday, ordinary sort of Vulture Capitalism Takeover. Just like the one he's trying to pull on America.

    Lover, fighter, dreamer

    by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 10:46:12 AM PDT

  •  I was part of the outsourcing effort at Sensata (0+ / 0-)

    before it became Sensata, back when it was a division of Texas Instruments called "Materials & Controls."

    I feel obligated to speak up, just to put things into perspective.

    Texas Instruments had started an outsourcing to Mexico in the mid-1990's. When Texas Instruments sold the division to Bain in the early 2000's, Bain and Sensata continued the outsourcing, but by then the source of choice was China, no longer Latin America.

    So really, Bain continued a policy of "outsource when able" that was initiated a decade earlier by the original owner of the manufacturing assets.

    And yes, I was the scumbag bi-lingual engineer who did feasibility assessments, project management, and technology transfer, and trained others to do the same, to support a massive outsourcing effort to make Texas Instruments more competitive in the global electronics market.

    Hope this helps,

    Just Giaco

  •  This is only one example of how these vultures (0+ / 0-)

    are destroying the economy that the rest of us depend on.

  •  Romney learned to lie like a carny huckster (0+ / 0-)

    by selling Bain Capital's shyster investments and preaching his religion's fantastical myths.  The only truth he recognizes is the money he salts away in foreign bank accounts.

  •  If I was auto part dealers/suppliers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Says Who

    I would demand only Sensata parts made in the USA and send back the parts made in  China as defective.

    "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

    by doingbusinessas on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 01:20:17 PM PDT

  •  Not just American jobs, but (0+ / 0-)

    Technology jobs, exported to China.

    I hope the President glues this to Romney til he helps Bain see the light, OR admit he is a thug who wrecks jobs for Americans, not to mention communities.

    This is large! Yes I'll write a letter of support. Thanks, I was wondering why this isn't front burner all the way!

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 02:16:20 PM PDT

  •  Its Beyond Me! (0+ / 0-)

    Why this story and the video that presents it haven't gone viral on the web and the conventional media, is beyond me.  The devastation Bain and Romney are inflicting on these American workers and the community should be inflicted on the Romney campaign 10 fold!

    My only hope is that President Obama has heard this story and will mention it during the debate.  If he does, he will win!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 02:52:18 PM PDT

  •  Sensata la votante que abandone a Romney. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 03:04:38 PM PDT

  •  Romney's entitlements (0+ / 0-)

    While my wife and I have not had health insurance for years now since its premium passed $2,000.00 a month, according to Romney's 47% video we're entitled to have no insurance because we can't pay for it, though he says we're takers, because we believe we're entitled to health care, while he is entitled to a 4-car elevator in his home. Politico says: "A project this ambitious comes with another feature you don’t always find with the typical fixer-upper: its own lobbyist, hired by Romney to push the plan through the approval process."

    Read more:

    Romney's entitled to a "lobbyist" to ensure his excessed are indulged, the 47% are not entitled to eat if they can't afford it.

    Rick Norlund

  •  Regarding Self-Professed Conservatives (0+ / 0-)

    Most who call themselves conservatives are liberals of the worst kind. Reagan nearly tripled the National Debt from .930 Trillion on 12/31/1980 to 2.684 Trillion on 12/31/1988 (see, enlarged the federal government from 2,865,000 in 1981 to 3,112,000 in 1988 a 247,000 increase in civilian personnel (see it is true that in Reagan’s first couple of years the federal government shrank, I dare say because of the recession, not because of his policies, if one calculates the growth of the federal government from its low during the Reagan years, the growth is 264,000 persons. Reagan increased the active duty military personnel form 2,083,000 in 1981 to 2,138,000 in 1988, a 55,000 person increase (see and ). Adding the civilian personnel to the active duty military personnel added under Reagan is a growth of the federal government under Reagan of 318,000 people, hardly a shrinking of government under the president who was a self-professed conservative. Rick Norlund

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