INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers “simply can’t trust Rep. Braun to do what’s right for us,” said Indiana AFL-CIO President Brett Voorhies in an op-ed published yesterday in the Courier & Press.
On the eve of President Trump’s visit to Evansville, Voorhies reminded Hoosiers that Rep. Braun has followed in the president’s footsteps of relying on foreign labor for personal profit, taking subsidies from Hoosier taxpayers because he claimed he’d create good-paying jobs in Indiana and then making and selling Chinese auto parts at our expense. It’s a stark contrast with Joe Donnelly, who “stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Hoosier workers” and saved hundreds of jobs when Carrier threatened to close its entire plant.
As President Trump comes to Evansville today, many Hoosiers will have mixed feelings. I proudly represent more than 300,000 hard-working Hoosiers in organized labor, and many of us have supported the President’s efforts to crack down on unfair trade deals.
But we haven’t forgotten that the President’s family businesses themselves relied on cheap foreign labor instead of making products here in America. So it angers me that the man standing next to President Trump tonight running for Senate represents the worst of both worlds.
Rep. Mike Braun isn’t just bad on trade, he lies about being “made in America” while profiting off Chinese labor to fuel his business.
Hoosiers have tried trusting Rep. Braun. His business received incentives paid for by Indiana taxpayers, because he claimed he’d create good-paying jobs right here at home. Yet instead, he’s made and sold Chinese auto parts at our expense, raking in millions of dollars in personal profit, even as factories that made the same parts right over here in Indiana went out of business.
When confronted with that fact, Rep. Braun has changed his story over and over again. First, he claimed that this wasn’t his responsibility because he didn’t have control of where his suppliers made their products. Then, reports came out detailing that his business had its own hidden line of auto parts he chose to have made in China, not here at home. He lied again, claiming that every job he’d created was an American job. Another story came out, detailing that one of his company’s largest suppliers outsourced hundreds of American workers’ jobs to China and Taiwan the same year Rep. Braun’s company began working with them.
His story keeps changing, but he’s still lying.
Rep. Braun’s willingness to boost his bottom line at Hoosiers’ expense isn’t limited to auto parts. As a state legislator, Rep. Braun voted against the bipartisan “clawback” amendment after Carrier decided to outsource Hoosier manufacturing jobs to Mexico, which would have allowed the state to strip incentives from Carrier and companies like it who outsource Hoosier jobs.
Rep. Braun’s company gets similar incentives to what Carrier received. His vote wasn’t only an insult to hard-working Hoosiers; it keeps the door open if he ever decides to hold onto taxpayers’ money while shipping even more jobs out of Indiana.
If you wanted to see how someone should have reacted, look at Joe Donnelly. He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Hoosier workers and helped bring Carrier bosses to the negotiating table with the United Steelworkers to work out a deal that saved hundreds of jobs. In Washington, his End Outsourcing Act would help prevent the next Carrier. He’s been calling for a renegotiation of NAFTA for nearly 15 years.
As Rep. Braun takes the stage tonight, Hoosiers should remember that we deserve a senator like Joe who’ll always put us first. We don’t need someone who’ll do what the president says 100% of the time in Washington, and certainly not someone who has joined him in putting personal profits over American workers.
We simply can’t trust Rep. Braun to do what’s right for us.