Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Walberg Releases Attack Ad

This is going to get pretty nasty... From YouTube user SeventhDem:

This is Walberg's second television ad and, perhaps because of its negative tone, is not yet included on the Walberg for Congress YouTube channel. Here's the Schauer campaign response:

Schauer has strong record of helping tool and die industry compete for jobs, while Walberg is making things worse

BATTLE CREEK-- Yesterday Congressman Tim Walberg's attack machine kicked into high gear with a new round of television commercials aimed at distorting Mark Schauer's record on support for local businesses. In the commercial, Mike Shirkey of Orbitform in Jackson says, "This plant, these jobs, our survival's in jeopardy."

"Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Walberg -- tell the truth. Because of Mark Schauer's hard work and dedication to his district, an MEDC report shows that Orbitform pays virtually no state or local taxes," said B.J. Neidhardt, Campaign Manager for Schauer for Congress. "The simple truth is that Mark has fought on behalf of tool and die companies like Orbitform, which have been hit hard by the unfair trade deals that Tim Walberg and George Bush have staunchly supported."

As the Democratic Vice Chair of the Committee on Commerce and Labor, Mark Schauer was instrumental in crafting the legislation to create tool and die renaissance recovery zone in 2003 (PA 266 of 2003, RC 649), and has supported every expansion of the bill since then (RC 155'06, RC 231'08, RC 712'05).

A press release sent out by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in December 2005 reveals that Orbitform and nine other companies in Jackson County formed the Automation & Tooling Alliance of North America to receive the tax-free tool and die renaissance recovery zone designation. According to the release, "The zones allow companies to operate free of virtually all state and local taxes for up to 15 years, thus boosting their efforts to compete in the face of global competition."

Not only did Mark help craft the legislation to create the renaissance recovery zones for tool and die companies, but he also helped secure Orbitform's renaissance status through the MEDC in 2005. That year, he also actively lobbied the Jackson City Council on behalf of Orbitform's management to approve the company's tax-free designation on June 28, 2005.

"It's not surprising that Mr. Shirkey was willing to attack Mark in a campaign ad for Tim Walberg, considering that he and his family have donated over $8,500 to Walberg's campaign," said Neidhardt. "Earlier this summer the Jackson Citizen Patriot pointed out his use of inflammatory partisan rhetoric in official company messages, so you have to consider the messenger."


- On December 12, 2005, MEDC sent out a press release announcing tool and die renaissance recovery zone status for Orbitform, exempting them from "virtually all state and local taxes." [Link]

- Nearly ¾ of Tim Walberg's 2006 primary money came from Club for Growth, a group that lists expanding free trade as one of its main goals. [Ann Arbor News, 8/9/06]

- Mike Shirkey and members of his family have donated over $8,500 to Tim Walberg's campaign. [Link]

- According to a blog post on the Jackson Citizen Patriot website, a two-minute monologue from Mr. Shirkey attacking presidential candidate Barack Obama was available on company phones earlier this summer. [Link]

- A copy of Tim Walberg's attack ad can be found on YouTube. [Link]

# # #
That's a fairly effective response to the ad and to Mike Shirkey, but at some point, the Schauer campaign will need a good response to the "deciding vote for the largest tax increase in Michigan's history" nonsense. It is nonsense, too (and hopefully I'll get a chance to write more about it), but a short, memorable response to the claim would be helpful.

I am, however, surprised by an attack ad from the Walberg campaign this early. Normally, I would think they'd save this for October, and let their buddies at Freedom's Watch do the dirty work. This makes me think that the ad is mainly a response to the EPIC-MRA poll that came out last week. Recall:
Overall, would you say that things in the United States are generally headed in the right direction, or have things pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?

8% Right direction
78% Wrong track
14% Undecided/Don't know/Refused


How would you rate the job being done by Tim Walberg in the United States Congress-- would you give him a positive rating of excellent or pretty good, or a negative rating of just fair or poor?



If the election for U.S. Congress were held today, would you vote for Mark Schauer the Democrat, Tim Walberg the Republican, Lynn Meadow of the Green Party, or Ken Proctor the Libertarian?

Walberg's campaign is reacting to what looks like momentum for Mark Schauer. It seems to me that they're worried, and with good reason.

And, of course, remember that Mark Schauer hasn't gone on the air yet with his television ads. Walberg has been on the air since August 6th.

UPDATE: Sometime between when I first posted this and now, the Walberg campaign put up their ad on YouTube.

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If the NFIB endorsed Walberg over Schauer certainly there must be some truth to the fact that Schauer is bad for small businesses. Keep in mind that Schauer was also responsible for the largest tax increase in Michigan history. Who really wants to be taxed more in the state of Michigan??

After doing a bit of research on NFIB, I find it almost laughable that they pride themselves on helping small businesses--especially considering that they define small business as one employing 5 individuals and having a yearly take of $350,000. They also support just about every Republican issue (drilling in ANWR and offshore), repealing the "death tax" (the Republican euphemism for "estate tax"); they're anti-labor, anti-union, etc. And after googling NBIF's board of directors, I didn't see one name of a small-business owner. In fact, check out the biography of Todd Stottlemyer,the NBIF president and CEO of this supposed "small business" lobbyist group:

"Stottlemyer, chief executive officer of Apogen Technologies, an information technology company with approximately 900 employees and more than $200 million in annual revenue . Prior to that, Stottlemyer was president of McGuire Woods Consulting and led McGuire Woods Capital Group, where he provided strategic consulting and transactional mergers and acquisition advisory services to technology and other small- and mid-market companies. Before McGuireWoods Consulting, Stottlemyer served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of BTG, a publicly traded information technology company with annual revenue of approximately $300 million and 1,800 employees.

Looking out for small businesses, eh? Don't kid yourself. Ordinarily, millionaires don't bother themselves with the little guy. Or if they do, it is only to benefit themselves.

Endorsing Walberg is a no-brainer. He fits their idealogy perfectly. Mark Schauer can be proud that he's not associated with them.
...and one more thing. In checking out McCain vs Obama on the NFIB issues, tell me which candidate is on the side of small business in regard to the issue of TAX CREDITS:

McCain says:

"While still having the option of employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit -effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance. Families will be able to choose the insurance provider that suits them best and the money would be sent directly to the insurance provider. Those obtaining innovative insurance that costs less than the credit can deposit the remainder in expanded Health Savings Accounts."

Obama says:

"Employers that do not offer or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan.

Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement, and will receive a new Small Business Health Tax Credit that helps reduce health care costs for small businesses. This new credit will provide a strong incentive to small businesses to offer high quality health care to their workers and
help improve the competitiveness of America's small businesses."

So you see, Obama is the one who is thinking of the small business owner. NBIF is protecting BIG BUSINESS.
Strange, I never met a business owner who was in business to provide health insurance for his employees, most are in it to make money. So in Obama's plan what defines small, 5, 10, 100, employees? Why do we even associate health BENEFITS as being related to your paycheck. If my memory serves we can thank FDR for putting pay limits on business so to attract employees benefit plans came about. What ever happened to personal responsibility?
Hi Fitzy--

Here's the Cit-Pat's take on the ad:


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