INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun delivered a slap in the face to Hoosier workers during his fundraising visit to the swamp this week when he attended a fundraiser hosted by the same lobbying firm who helped Carrier ship thousands of Hoosier jobs to Mexico.
On Monday, Rep. Braun attended a fundraising breakfast in Washington hosted by the BGR Group, a lobbying firm. BGR worked on behalf of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), which infamously laid off thousands of Hoosier workers at its Indianapolis Carrier and Huntington UTEC plants. UTC paid BGR $280,000 over 16 months to lobby for the company on matters of regulation and trade.
The issues BGR lobbied on were especially notable, as UTC had used “new regulatory requirements” as an excuse to justify shipping jobs to other countries. UTC’s argument was debunked, however, after an Indy Star investigation was unable to find any regulations that would have explained UTC’s decision. After speaking with Carrier President Chris Nelson following the move’s announcement, Joe Donnelly said that Nelson was unable to cite a single federal regulation to explain the layoffs.
Rep. Braun’s decision to solicit money from the lobbyists who helped UTC ship Hoosier jobs to Mexico isn’t the first time he’s sided with UTC and their lobbyists over Hoosier workers. After UTC’s layoffs were announced, Rep. Braun was one of the only members at the Statehouse to vote against the “clawback” amendment that would have pulled back tax incentives from Carrier and companies like it who ship jobs to foreign countries.
“Rep. Braun’s decision to spend the opening days of his general election campaign not in Indiana but raising money in Washington from UTC lobbyists is a slap in the face to the Hoosier workers whose jobs were shipped to Mexico and their families,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “He’s spent the past week proving that he stands on the side of Mitch McConnell and Carrier instead of the workers they’ve harmed. Whether funding his campaign with the profits from selling Chinese auto parts or hobnobbing with UTC lobbyists, Rep. Braun has spent his career putting himself, his wallet or his campaign account first.”