FACT CHECK: Koch Brothers Launch Misleading Attacks To Obscure Portman’s Record As A “Dedicated Outsourcer”

COLUMBUS, OH -- Senator Portman and his Republican allies have already spent up to $15 million on false and misleading attacks against Ted Strickland, but their strategy isn’t working -- Ted is continuing to lead Portman in every recent poll even though the Strickland campaign hasn’t spent a single dollar on paid television advertising. Here are the facts about their latest false advertisement:

From David Bergstein of the Strickland campaign: “Washington power brokers and wealthy, shadowy special interests are spending millions to prop up Sen. Rob Portman because he’s pushing their agenda at the expense of Ohio’s working families. Sen. Portman’s unabashed support for unfair trade deals has cost Ohio hundreds of thousands of jobs and made it easier for the company in this very ad to outsource their jobs overseas. Economists, newspapers and fact checkers agree: Ohio’s economic recovery began under Ted. And no amount of false ads can distract Ohioans from the fact that Sen. Portman always pushes the agenda of the Washington power brokers and wealthy special interests he serves at the expense of hardworking Ohioans.”

FACT CHECK KEY POINTS:

STRICKLAND FOUGHT TO SAVE DHL JOBS THAT WERE OUTSOURCED TO MALAYSIA, BUT PORTMAN WON’T LIFT A FINGER

  • Strickland worked hard with state officials - Republicans and Democrats - to save Wilmington's DHL jobs, whose losses were part of the global recession. Strickland helped secure over $10 million in federal job training funds for DHL workers.

  • Some of these DHL workers’ jobs were outsourced to Malaysia, qualifying them for trade adjustment assistance (TAA). Portman has voted to cut the sort of trade adjustment assistance benefits and job retraining that helped these Wilmington workers.

  • Malaysia is a member to the TPP trade talks, meaning under the agreement there will be fewer trade barriers between the U.S. and Malaysia. 

 

PORTMAN IS A “DEDICATED OUTSOURCER” WHO HAS CONSISTENTLY SUPPORTED TRADE DEALS THAT HAVE COST OHIO JOBS

  • Portman was called a “dedicated outsourcer” for his consistent support of free trade deals like NAFTA. Portman, in fact, has voted for every free trade deal he could.

  • In 2015, Portman voted to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership without reading it. The Guardian reported Portman took nearly $120,000 from TPP’s corporate backers in advance of the vote.

  • Reckless trade deals haven’t worked for Ohio, with Ohioans having lost over 300,000 net manufacturing jobs since NAFTA’s passage.

 

STRICKLAND CUT INCOME TAXES FOR ALL OHIOANS AND OVERHAULED THE BUSINESS TAX SYSTEM

  • Strickland oversaw a 13 percent reduction in every Ohioan’s individual income tax rate, and taxes were at a 16-year low under Strickland.

  • Strickland helped position Ohio for recovery from the 2008 global recession by supporting business tax reform that encouraged new investment. Under Strickland, Ohio was ranked as having the best business tax system in the Midwest.

 

OHIO’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY BEGAN UNDER STRICKLAND

  • Economists agree: the economic recovery began under Strickland, with a falling unemployment rate and rising wages.

  • In 2010, Ohio was rated as having the fifth-fastest growing economy in the nation.

  • Fact checkers said it was “political hyperbole” to blame Strickland for the effects of the global recession in 2008.

 

WHO'S BEHIND FREEDOM PARTNERS? THE KOCH BROTHERS, WHO HAVE HELPED SHIP U.S. JOBS OVERSEAS AND HAVE LOBBIED HARD ON THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

  • Freedom Partners Action Fund is a Super PAC closely affiliated with the Koch Brothers and their dark-money donor network.

  • The Koch Brothers have already contributed $12,000 to Portman's campaign directly this cycle.

  • Koch Industries-owned companies have lost about 3,000 U.S. jobs to trade or outsourcing, while a Koch Industries-owned company has lobbied for years on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


AD CLAIMS

THE FACTS

JOEL: I was with Airborne Express and DHL for over 25 years.

 

VISUAL: JOEL

DHL Employee, 25 years

Wilmington, Ohio

 

JOEL: I lost my job, that was very devastating to me.

 

VISUAL: JOBS LOST

Businesses fled to other states.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

 

DHL OUTSOURCED WILMINGTON JOBS OVERSEAS, BUT PORTMAN WON’T FIGHT FOR THEM THE WAY STRICKLAND DID

DHL JOB LOSSES WERE PART OF THE GREAT RECESSION, AND STRICKLAND FOUGHT FOR OVER $10 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS TO HELP DISPLACED WORKERS

Cleveland Plain Dealer: State Officials Weren't Made Aware Of DHL's Impending Closure, And Republicans And Democrats Worked Hard To Save DHL Jobs. "DHL, which is owned by Deutsche Post World Net of Germany, shocked city and state officials when it announced plans in 2008 to discontinue ground delivery services, which led to the end of operations in Wilmington and the loss of nearly 8,000 jobs. There's no evidence that government officials knew of DHL's plans before it made the announcement, which set off an aggressive but unsuccessful lobbying effort by Democratic and Republican elected officials to keep the company in the state." [Cleveland Plain-Dealer,10/8/10]

Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher Said DHL Did Not Give Ohio A Chance To Offer Incentives To Keep The Company In-State Despite "Repeated Outreach." "Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher said he is disappointed that DHL didn't give Ohio a chance to offer financial incentives to keep the company in Wilmington despite 'repeated outreach.'" [Associated Press, 4/17/09]

Associated Press: “Gov. Ted Strickland Says The State Is Seeking Federal Funds To Help Boost Job Training And Unemployment Compensation” For Wilmington Workers. “Gov. Ted Strickland says the state is seeking federal funds to help boost job training and unemployment compensation for workers in the southwest Ohio city where DHL is closing its air shipping hub.” [Associated Press, 11/11/08] 

U.S. Department Of Labor Awarded $11.2 Million In Emergency Funding To Ohio In Response To The DHL Closing. [U.S. Department Of Labor, National Emergency Grants, Accessed 2/27/15]

SOME DHL WORKERS SAW THEIR JOBS SHIPPED OFF OVERSEAS

In 2010, The U.S. Department Of Labor Certified Wilmington’s DHL Information Technology Service Workers Who Were Let Go After August 2008 Were Eligible For Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). “All workers of DP/DHL, DHL Information Services (Americas), Wilmington, Ohio, who became totally or partially separated from employment on or after August 11, 2008, through two years from the date of certification, and all workers in the group threatened with total or partial separation from employment on date of certification through two years from the date of certification, are eligible to apply for adjustment assistance under Chapter 2 of Title II of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended.” [U.S. Department Of Labor, TAA Decision 74232, Signed 7/14/10]

DHL Shifted Information Technology Services From Wilmington, Ohio To Malaysia And The Czech Republic. “The investigation revealed that workers of DP/DHL who are engaged in activities related to information technology services meet the criteria for certification. Criterion I has been met because a significant number or proportion of the workers at DP/DHL have become totally or partially separated. Criterion II has been satisfied because there has been a shift by the workers' firm to a foreign country in the supply of services like or directly competitive with those supplied by the workers' firm. Criterion III has been met because the shift of information technology services to Malaysia and Czech Republic by DP/DHL contributed importantly to worker group separations at DP/DHL.” [U.S. Department Of Labor, TAA Decision 74232, Signed 7/14/10] 

PORTMAN VOTED TO CUT THE SAME TYPE OF TAA BENEFITS AND JOB RETRAINING THAT HELPED SOME DHL WORKERS

Portman Voted For Amendment Reducing Trade Adjustment Assistance Benefits To Pre-2009-Stimulus Levels. In 2011, Portman voted for: “McCain, R-Ariz., amendment no. 625 to Casey, D-Pa., amendment no. 633. The McCain amendment would reduce the level of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits to rates prior to the enactment of the 2009 economic stimulus law. The Casey amendment would revive an expansion of TAA benefits for unemployed workers provided in the 2009 economic stimulus law.” The amendment failed, 46-53. [CQ,9/21/11; S.Amdt. 625 to S.Amdt. 633 to H.R. 2832, Vote 143,9/21/11]

Portman Voted To Cut Job Training Funding For Ohio By Nearly $60 Million, Harming Nearly 80,000 Ohio Workers, Including More Than 6,000 Whose Jobs Had Been Displaced. In 2011, Portman voted for a Republican continuing appropriations bill that, according to the CBPP, cut job training funding for Ohio by nearly $60 million. [Vote 36, 3/9/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/1/11] 

UNDER TPP, FEWER TRADE BARRIERS WILL EXIST BETWEEN MALAYSIA AND THE U.S.

Malaysia Was A Member To The Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks. [U.S. Trade Representative, Accessed 8/18/15]

PORTMAN HAS SPENT A CAREER CHEERLEADING OUTSOURCING EFFORTS 

Strickland Voted Against 8 Free Trade Deals In Congress. Portman Voted For 8 Free Trade Deals. During his time in Congress, Strickland voted against eight trade deals. Portman, during his time in Congress, voted for eight trade deals. These votes are detailed in the table below: 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 12.14.35 PM.png

[H.R. 3078, Vote 163,10/12/11; H.R. 3079, Vote 162,10/12/11; H.R. 3080, Vote 161,10/12/11; H.R. 5684, Vote 392,7/20/06; H.R. 4340, Vote 616,12/7/05; H.R. 3045, Vote 443,7/28/05; H.R. 4842, Vote 413,7/22/04; H.R. 4759, Vote 375,7/14/04; H.R. 2738, Vote 436,7/24/03; H.R. 2739, Vote 432,7/24/03; H.R. 3450, Vote 575,11/17/93]

Tapped To Be Bush’s Trade Representative, Portman Was Criticized For Being A “Dedicated Outsourcer.” “In a surprise move, President Bush on Thursday tapped one of his closest congressional allies, Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to be the next U.S. trade representative, giving the administration an insider's influence in steering trade pacts through Congress. … Just the same, Alan Tonelson, a research fellow with the U.S. Business and Industry Council, which represents companies affected by free trade and opposes current free-trade policies, called Portman's nomination a ‘slap in the face to the U.S. domestic manufacturing base.’ ‘Rep. Portman has been a dedicated outsourcer throughout his career in Congress,’ Tonelson said in a statement.” [CQ Today, 3/17/05]

IN 2015, PORTMAN TOOK $120,000 FROM TPP'S CORPORATE BACKERS IN ADVANCE OF VOTING TO FAST-TRACK THE TRADE BILL WITHOUT READING IT 

2015: Portman Voted To Fast-Track TPP Without Reading It. “Though he hasn’t read the TPP proposal, Portman voted June 24 with the majority in a 60-38 vote to approve fast-track authority. Fast track is a key step in the trade process. It allows the president to give such deals to Congress for only yes-or-no votes without the power for the legislative body to amend them.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 8/3/15; H.R. 2146, Vote 219, 6/24/15]

Portman Took $119,700 From The Corporate Members Of The US Business Coalition For TPP In Advance Of The Fast Track Vote. “Using data from the Federal Election Commission, this chart shows all donations that corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP made to US Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate: […] He received $119,700 from 14 different corporations between January and March, most of which comes from donations from Goldman Sachs ($70,600), Pfizer ($15,700), and Procter & Gamble ($12,900).” [The Guardian,5/27/15]

The Guardian Headline: “Here’s How Much Corporations Paid US Senators To Fast-Track The TPP Bill.” [The Guardian,5/27/15] 

RECKLESS TRADE DEALS HAVE COST OHIO OVER 300,000 NET MANUFACTURING JOBS

Public Citizen: “Ohio Has Endured A Net Loss Of More Than 307,000 Manufacturing Jobs – One Out Of Every Three – Since The 1994 NAFTA And The World Trade Organization Agreements Took Effect.” “Ohio has endured a net loss of more than 307,000 manufacturing jobs – one out of every three – since the 1994 NAFTA and the World Trade Organization agreements took effect. Nearly five million manufacturing jobs have been lost nationwide. U.S. manufacturing workers who lose jobs to trade and find reemployment are typically forced to take pay cuts. Three of every five who were rehired in 2014 took home smaller paychecks, and one in three lost greater than 20 percent, according to Department of Labor data.” [Public Citizen, Accessed 3/13/16]

JOEL: When Mr. Strickland raised taxes $1.5 billion dollars, it was like, you know, there was no justification for it.

 

VISUAL: COLUMBUS DISPATCH

August 2, 2009

$1.5 BILLION in higher fees.

 

STRICKLAND CUT INCOME TAXES FOR ALL OHIO TAXPAYERS

Strickland Oversaw A 13 Percent Reduction In Every Ohioan’s Individual Income Tax Burden. Strickland implemented the 2005 tax overhaul, leading to a 13 percent reduction in every Ohioan’s income tax burden during Strickland’s tenure. [H.B. 66, Signed6/30/05; Ohio Department Of Taxation, Accessed 1/29/16]

Strickland Oversaw The Largest Income Tax Cut In Modern Ohio History. [Ohio Department Of Taxation, Accessed 5/9/15] 

Under Strickland, Ohio’s Tax Burden Was Ranked At A 16-Year Low. “Ohio’s national ranking for state and local tax burden on its residents has improved steadily in the past decade, reaching its best level in 16 years in fiscal year 2010. Residents paid an average of 9.7 percent of their income to state and local taxes in 2010. That rate ranked Ohio No. 20 nationally, according to a report released this week by the Tax Foundation, which calls itself a non-partisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C. Ohio ranked as high as No. 7 in 2005. Its tax burden rate decreased from 10.6 percent that year to 9.7 percent in 2010.” [Dayton Daily News,10/24/12]

STRICKLAND OVERSAW OVERHAUL OF BUSINESS TAX SYSTEM

STRICKLAND HELPED POSITION OHIO FOR RECOVERY BY SUPPORTING BUSINESS TAX REFORM THAT ENCOURAGED NEW INVESTMENT 

Strickland Oversaw Elimination Of The Business Tangible Personal Property Tax And The Corporation Franchise Tax. [Ohio Legislative Service Commission, H.B. 66 Analysis, Accessed 5/23/15] 

Ernst & Young: Ohio’s New Tax System Encouraged “Businesses Making New Instate Investments.” [Ernst & Young And Council On State Taxation,April 2011] 

UNDER STRICKLAND, OHIO WAS RANKED AS HAVING THE BEST BUSINESS TAX SYSTEM IN THE MIDWEST

Ernst & Young Found Ohio Had The Third-Most Competitive State And Local Business Tax System In 2009, First In The Midwest. [Ernst & Young,8/22/11]

Ernst & Young Ranked Ohio As Having The 3rd-Lowest Business Tax Burden For New Business Investment In The Nation In 2009, First In The Midwest. [Ernst & Young And Council On State Taxation,April 2011]

Ohio’s State And Local Business Taxes Were Below The National Average As A Percentage Of GSP In FY 10. In FY 10, Ohio’s state and local business taxes were 4.6 percent of GSP, compared to 5.0 percent nationally. [Ernst & Young And Council On State Taxation,July 2011] 

BUSINESS GROUPS ENDORSED THE TAX REFORMS OVERSEEN BY STRICKLAND

Business Tax Changes Overseen By Strickland Were Endorsed By The Ohio Business Roundtable. “The sweeping tax reforms begun in 2005 - reforms remarkably consistent with the philosophy, guiding principles, economic strategy and mechanics of the BRT's original tax reform proposal - are helping Ohio gain national notice for its investment-friendly business climate.” [Ohio Business Roundtable, Accessed 5/23/15]

Ohio Manufacturers’ Association President Said Under Strickland, Ohio Had “A Tax Structure Right Now That Beats Anybody. For The State Level, We Have The Best Tax Structure For An Export-Oriented, Goods-Producing State In The Country.” “Virtually every state in the union has lost plenty of jobs and is awash in red ink. Ironically, Strickland responded to the crisis by doing what Republicans wanted him to do: preserve the landmark 2005 tax reform, including a 21 percent, five-year cut in the state income tax. Last month, he grudgingly delayed the final 4.2 percent of the cut to balance the budget. Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers' Association, told me recently that Strickland has helped position Ohio for better days: ‘We've got a tax structure right now that beats anybody,’ he said. ‘For the state level, we have the best tax structure for an export-oriented, goods-producing state in the country.’” [Columbus Dispatch, Joe Hallett Op-Ed,1/10/10]

JOEL: When he should have been in there fighting, we lost 400,000 jobs in the state of Ohio.

 

VISUAL: Cleveland Plain Dealer

October 3, 2010

Loss of nearly 400,000 JOBS

on Strickland’s watch.

 

JOEL: His track record is not there. There’s no reason to go back to Ted Strickland.

 

VISUAL: Ted Strickland

He’s FAILED Ohio’s families.

 

THE GLOBAL RECESSION CANNOT BE PINNED ON STRICKLAND – IT WAS FELT NATIONWIDE 

POLITIFACT: “THE CLAIM THAT STRICKLAND DESTROYED OHIO JOBS AMOUNTS TO POLITICAL HYPERBOLE” AND IS “FALSE” 

PolitiFact: “The Claim That Strickland Destroyed Ohio Jobs Amounts To Political Hyperbole” Since All Industrial States Shed Jobs When The Recession Hit, And “The Causes Of The Recession Are Much Broader Than Just The State’s Budget Woes.” “Finally, the claim that Strickland destroyed Ohio jobs amounts to political hyperbole. Ohio and other industrial states all hemorrhaged jobs when the economy hit the skids, and the causes of the recession are much broader than just the state’s budget woes. […] The ad pins Ohio’s job losses on the governor, claiming they were a result of those state budget woes. We rate Kasich’s claim that ‘Ted Strickland destroyed Ohio jobs when he busted the budget’ as False.” [PolitiFact,10/19/10]

Akron Beacon Journal Editorial: Strickland “Steered The State Through The Harsh Recession, Making Hard Choices Yet Protecting Leading Priorities.” “No doubt, Strickland moved the state ahead as governor, most notably, in constructing a promising framework for funding public schools and in elevating higher education, bringing additional resources and focus to the mission. He steered the state through the harsh recession, making hard choices yet protecting leading priorities.” [Akron Beacon Journal Editorial, 1/10/13]

THE RECOVERY BEGAN DURING STRICKLAND’S LAST YEAR AS GOVERNOR, OHIO WAS GAINING JOBS AND RECOGNIZED AS THE FIFTH-FASTEST GROWING STATE ECONOMY 

Economist George Zeller Said Ohio’s Economy Began To Recover In 2010. “We also checked in with Cleveland economic research analyst George Zeller, another expert. Zeller finds fault with the BLS model favored by others and prefers the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Zeller said the QCEW numbers show that Ohio began gaining jobs in 2010, but several months later than February. If he had to pick a month when the Ohio economy began to turn around, Zeller said he would choose July 2010 or October 2010. ‘In the end,’ Zeller wrote in an email to PolitiFact Ohio, ‘more than a third of all the net jobs gained in Ohio during 2010 were in October 2010.’” [PolitiFact,1/24/13]

 STRICKLAND LEFT OHIO THE FIFTH-FASTEST GROWING ECONOMY IN THE NATION…

Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Ohio Had The Fifth Fastest Growing Economy Of Any State During The Past 12 Months.” “Strange as it may sound, the economic recovery in Ohio has been stronger than in most states. But high unemployment persists, and now a slowing period may be upon us. That's how researchers assess the state's economy two months from year's end -- and with a wary eye toward 2011. Ohio had the fifth fastest growing economy of any state during the past 12 months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, which tracks economic conditions in each state.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer,11/7/10]

…WITH DECLINING UNEMPLOYMENT… 

In 2010, Strickland’s Last Year As Governor, Ohio’s Unemployment Rate Fell 1.6 Percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, Ohio’s unemployment rate fell 1.6 percent. [Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/11/15]

January 2011: Ohio Was One Of Only Two States To Have Eight Consecutive Months Of Declining Unemployment. “‘We are one of only two states to have eight consecutive months of declining unemployment,’ Strickland said in the interview on Dec. 20. ‘Twenty-one states had increased unemployment last month. Ours went down.’ Politifact Ohio wanted to know if the outgoing governor had his facts right, particularly given how hard Kasich and the Republicans hammered him for the economy during the election. As it turns out, the governor is right on both accounts, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor.” [PolitiFact,1/3/11]

…AND HIGHER WAGES 

After A Long Recession, In 2009 Mean Earnings Of Ohio Jobs Began Increasing. “There is no question that the 2000s recession deepened sharply in 2008 within Ohio, with both employment and mean earnings falling sharply. […] But, in 2009, despite the large job loss in Ohio, the mean earnings of a surviving Ohio job actually increased by 0.8% in 2009, returning average job earnings in Ohio to a level 0.3% above the same inflation-adjusted level that Ohio jobs paid in 2000.” [Jobs and Earnings Trends in Ohio Counties – Third Quarter 2010 Update, George Zeller – Economic Research Analyst,May 2011]

Economist George Zeller: “Ohio Gained $1.2 Billion In Paychecks Between The Third Quarters Of 2009 And 2010” Which “Was Widely Distributed Across Ohio” In 71 Out Of 88 Counties. “A corresponding increase in aggregate paycheck earnings was faster than the 2009-2011 job growth. Ohio gained $1.2 billion in paychecks between the third quarters of 2009 and 2010. That one year increase was 2.5%. The growth in paychecks was widely distributed across Ohio, with 71 of the 88 counties enjoying a one year increase.” [Jobs and Earnings Trends in Ohio Counties – Third Quarter 2010 Update, George Zeller – Economic Research Analyst,May 2011]

V/O: Freedom Partners Action Fund is responsible for the content of this advertising.

 

VISUAL: Freedom Partners Action Fund paid for and is responsible for the content of this advertising. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.www.fpaction.org

 

WHO'S BEHIND FREEDOM PARTNERS? THE KOCH BROTHERS, WHO HAVE HELPED SHIPPED U.S. JOBS OVERSEAS AND HAVE LOBBIED HARD ON THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP 

USA Today: Freedom Partners “Is At The Heart Of The Political And Policy Network Associated With Charles Koch.” “Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit trade association that is at the heart of the political and policy network associated with Charles Koch. Freedom Partners distributed nearly $300 million to other groups in the network from November 2011 to December 2013, according to its most recent federal tax returns.” [USA Today,4/23/15]

Freedom Partners Action Fund Is A Koch-Funded Super PAC Formed To “Explicitly Ask Voters To Support GOP Candidates” And To Oppose Democrats. [Politico,6/16/14] 

The Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity Have Already Spent $1.4 Million Against Strickland. [Washington Post,8/18/15]

Bloomberg: “About 3,000 U.S. Jobs Lost At Koch Industries-Owned Companies Over The Past Decade Can Be Attributed To Offshoring Or Competition From Imports.” “About 3,000 U.S. jobs lost at Koch Industries-owned companies over the past decade can be attributed to offshoring or competition from imports. That’s according to a Bloomberg News tally based on an analysis of Department of Labor documents provided by American Bridge 21st Century, a group allied with Democrats. It includes 342 at an Invista plant in Waynesboro, Virginia, and about 258 at Georgia-Pacific facilities in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Halsey, Oregon.” [Bloomberg,9/2/14] 

2013-15: Koch Industries Reported Lobbying On The Trans-Pacific Partnership. From 2013 to 2015, a Koch Industries subsidiary reported lobbying on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. [U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Client: "Koch," Issue: "Trans-Pacific Partnership," Accessed 8/18/15]


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