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Portman Campaign Launches Ads Targeting Strickland's Job Outsourcing Record

Online ads highlight jobs lost to other states and countries when Strickland was governor

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Portman for Senate campaign today released the following memorandum to accompany a new online ad campaign highlighting Governor Ted Strickland's hypocrisy on trade and his awful record on jobs and the economy. 

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Corry Bliss, Campaign Manager

MEMO: Ted Strickland's History of Job Outsourcing

Today, Portman for Senate is launching a new online ad campaign to remind Ohio voters of Ted Strickland's terrible record as Governor, when thousands of jobs left Ohio. Ted Strickland was arguably the worst governor in Ohio's history. During his single failed term, Ted Strickland failed to grow jobs for Ohio workers, instead overseeing a loss of over 350,000 jobs, with many going to other states. With his awful record on the economy, it is no surprise that Strickland is against exports and the good jobs they represent. Under Strickland's leadership, Ohio exports stalled and even lost ground for the first time in 11 years. This weeklong ad campaign will target voters statewide and include a petition for signers who know Ohio cannot afford to go back to Strickland's job outsourcing past. 

The devastating job loss of the Strickland era was compounded by his lackadaisical effort to retain employers and his practice of awarding lucrative contracts to companies he knew would outsource jobs. In one instance, Governor Strickland didn't even introduce himself when seated next to a CEO who would later move 1,200 jobs to Georgia. His administration paid a firm $357,300 to administer a $10.5 million stimulus-funded program, but the firm outsourced jobs to El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.

Strickland also displayed a penchant for hypocrisy during his term as governor. In 2010, the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that despite his “complaints about trade treaties and presidential decisions, [his] own Department of Development and budget office consistently state that exports help Ohio.” And in 2008, the Columbus Dispatch caught him extolling the benefits of trade but failing “to mention that in Congress he voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement, a key stimulant for exports.” In 2010, the Cleveland Plain Dealer questioned Strickland’s Lt. Governor when he raised the issue of trade on the campaign trail since the both he and Strickland had “embraced trade” and its role supporting Ohio’s economy. And his hypocrisy on trade extends to his days in Congress. In 2005, Strickland twice voted against measures to hold China accountable for their trade practices. 

From the lost jobs, to his ineffective management, to his blatant hypocrisy Strickland gave Ohio families an era they can’t afford to repeat. And with a record like Strickland’s, it’s no surprise that he wants people to forget about his tenure as governor. The reality is that Ted Strickland was one of the worst governors in Ohio history and Ohio voters just can't afford to let him take them backwards.

Meanwhile, as Ted Strickland continues to demagogue the issues, Rob Portman continues getting results for Ohio jobs and wages. Just last week, business and labor praised his bill to cut red tape in federal permitting. Two weeks ago, the President signed Portman's bipartisan energy efficiency bill which will create jobs and is good for the environment. Rob's balanced approach on trade and currency manipulation won praise from the Toledo Blade who said it "would ensure that all parties to the deal play by the same rules, and that American firms can compete fairly abroad."







The Facts

Ohio Jobs Lost to Other States on Strickland's Watch

  • Dayton, Ohio lost 1,200 jobs when NCR moved to Georgia during Strickland’s term. (CNN, 6/2/09)
    •  Strickland Couldn’t Even Identify NCR CEO. “Dayton is not alone in feeling slighted. [The NCR CEO] said that he attended a renewable energy conference in New York… and during lunch sat next to Governor Strickland — who, he says, not only did not know who he was, despite his name tag, but never introduced himself.” (New York Times, 1/24/10)
  • Columbus, Ohio lost 60 jobs when General Products Corporation moved to Indiana during Strickland’s term. (Inside Indiana Business, 7/7/08)

  • Columbus, Ohio lost 50 jobs when Axiobionics moved to Michigan during Strickland’s term. (O&P, 7/8/09)

Strickland's Foreign Deals Gone Wrong  

Stimulus Money to Company that Outsourced Call Center

  • In August 2010, the Strickland administration was embarrassed by reports that a firm that was paid $357,300 to administer the state’s $10.5 million stimulus-funded appliance rebate program had outsourced call center jobs to El Salvador. The Ohio Department of Development hired Texas-based Parago Inc. to administer the state’s $10.5 million appliance-rebate program, which offers rebates ranging from $100 to $250 to Ohio consumers who buy energy-efficient appliances. The money was provided to Ohio as part of the federal economic-stimulus effort. Parago was paid $357,300, a big savings over rival bids from two Ohio companies of $467,238 and $493,763. If Development Director Lisa Patt-McDaniel had asked why Parago’s bid was so low, she might have learned that the company outsources its call-center functions to low-wage El Salvador, where the work probably was much appreciated. (The Columbus Dispatch, Editorial, August 11, 2010)
  • In November, Ohio Inspector General Thomas Charles found that the Strickland administration committed a “litany of errors” in its handling of the Parago contract and that outsourcing was ongoing. [The] Department of Development committed a “litany of errors” rushing through a contract to issue $11 million in appliance rebates, negligently failing to learn that the company planned to outsource call-center jobs to El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, an investigation has found. Further, the state agency has not reconciled Texas-based Parago Promotional Services’ account in the nearly eight months the $357,000 contract has been in effect, Ohio Inspector General Thomas P. Charles concluded. . . .Charles concluded that “wrongful acts or omissions” were committed by the state agency in both instances, and the outsourcing of jobs continues to this day. The Development Department’s “failure to make the use of U.S.-based call centers a binding and enforceable requirement for all applicants skewed the process and contributed to the selection of Parago,” the investigation found. . . . The work is being handled at Parago call centers in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, a fact the Development Department finally discovered March 26 when the rebate program was launched and quickly brought several reports of hearing people with “foreign accents” answering the calls. (The Columbus Dispatch, November 19, 2010)

Strickland's Embarrassing Trade Hypocrisy

  • During Strickland’s 2010 reelection bid, the Plain Dealer questioned the fairness of his attacks on free trade, given how he had “embraced trade” as governor. [Fisher,] as well as Strickland have embraced trade, too. Despite their complaints about trade treaties and presidential decisions, their own Department of Development and budget office consistently state that exports help Ohio. . . . But is their criticism of Portman fair? At a detailed level, it is not, say free-trade supporters, including analysts at the Cato Institute, a libertarian-leaning think tank. (Plain Dealer, May 24, 2010)

  • Ohio exports were down in 2009, "the first time in 11 years" (Plain Dealer, May 24, 2010; Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Census Bureau)     
  • Later in the campaign, Akron Beacon Journal editors criticized Strickland for attacking Kasich over outsourcing, NAFTA and Chinese trade after he had “done his share of cheering for exports” as governor. Ted Strickland repeated the charge in a speech last week, and the governor surely will do so again in his bid for re-election: John Kasich “shipped American jobs overseas with his enthusiastic support for NAFTA and for most-favored nation trade status for China.” Put aside that Canada and Mexico, the partners covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement can be reached by land. The governor asks his audience to overlook another element: Many Ohioans benefit from such trade deals, more [than] 360,000 Ohio jobs tied to exports. (Akron Beacon Journal, Editorial, July 12, 2010)
  • Strickland also voted twice in 2005 against Congressional measures to hold China accountable for their trade practices.

    Vote #1[Thomas] motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill that would establish mechanisms to ensure that China abides by previous trade agreement commitments, including creating a system to monitor compliance with trade obligations on intellectual property rights, market access for U.S. goods, services and agriculture and the accounting of Chinese subsidies. It would authorize an increase in funding for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the International Trade Commission to improve the enforcement of existing trade agreements. (HR 3283, Roll Call Vote 421, July 26, 2005, Overall vote: 240-186, Strickland Vote: No)

    Vote #2Passage of the bill that would establish mechanisms to ensure that China abides by previous trade agreement commitments, including creating a system to monitor compliance with trade obligations on intellectual property rights, market access for U.S. goods, services and agriculture and the accounting of Chinese subsidies. It would authorize an increase in funding for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the International Trade Commission to improve the enforcement of existing trade agreements. (HR 3283, Roll Call Vote 437, July 27, 2005, Overall vote: 255-168, Strickland Vote: No)