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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Bun's Restaurant in Deleware, Ohio October 10, 2012.   REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION)
Mitt Romney and Fox News site Fox Nation have been clutching at straws, desperate to shift the Sensata story away from Romney himself. They want you to forget that Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney led and used to invest in overseas factories and companies that promote outsourcing, is putting 170 Illinois workers out of work by closing the plant they work in and moving their jobs to China. They want you to forget that Romney has millions of dollars invested in the Bain funds that control Sensata. And what shiny object would the Romney campaign and Fox Nation like you to pay attention to instead? President Barack Obama's pension from his days as an Illinois state senator.

See, Obama has between $50,000 and $100,000 in a defined benefit pension plan from the Illinois General Assembly (PDF). The Illinois General Assembly retirement system has some Sensata Technologies stock. So, uh, everyone look at Obama! He too stands to profit from Sensata—in 11 years when he becomes eligible to collect his pension from two jobs ago, a pension in which he's one of hundreds of participants in a $60 million fund (PDF). The Romney campaign, by the way, is billing this as Obama's "personal pension fund." Every other member of the Illinois state legislature, past and present, might be surprised to hear this.

As Steve Benen says, "It's awfully difficult to take this comparison seriously." If you're lucky enough to still have a defined benefit pension after years of people like Mitt Romney systematically stripping them from workers, do you control its investments? No? I didn't think so. Neither could Obama. Romney, on the other hand, built Bain Capital to do business this way, to close even profitable plants and send the jobs overseas to avoid paying workers more than 99 cents an hour. Romney has $8 million in the Bain funds that control Sensata, and he's able to do what he likes with the Sensata stock he holds, having transferred $700,000 of it to one of his foundations—in the process, reaping more money in tax deductions than Barack Obama's entire Illinois state pension is worth. There is no comparison.

Sensata is keeping Mitt Romney's real jobs record in the public eye, where it belongs. Send a message of support to the brave Sensata workers as they fight for their jobs and shine a light on what a Romney economy would look like.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Bain Files, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Land of Lincoln Kos.

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