Pro-Obama ad blames Mitt Romney for woman's death

Ok, here is my entry into the political debate:

A steel plant acquired during Romney's Tenure at Bain Capital went bankrupt in 2001. Joe Soptic, a former employee of GST steel plant, relates that because he was fired he lost insurance, a "short time" thereafter, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and died. He says Romney doesn't care that his wife died and it is implied (not subtly) that Romney caused this woman to die.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/n...

In order to make this debate interesting let's pretend the following facts don't exist:

1. Romney was no longer working with Bain (even on paper) in 2001 when the plant shut down.

2. Joe Soptic's wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 5 years after the plant closed.

3. Joe Soptic's wife had health insurance through her own employment subsequent to the plant closing.

Does a company have moral culpability for what happens to their employees after they are terminated? ie. if there home is foreclosed or the lose insurance.

Isn't carrying over insurance after work is terminated (cobra) a federal issue and thus George Bush, in fact, killed this woman?

Does a candidate have an obligation to "condemn" or at least distance themselves from a Superpac ad that many would consider is misleading?

I know Republicans wanted Citizens United, so be careful what you wish for. But soon the Republican superpacs will be ramping up. There is already talk of suggesting that Obama pretended to be a foreign citizen to remain in an ivy league college despite his poor grades.

With Romney alleging that the Obama administration is suing to prevent soldiers from voting this is clearly the most negative campaign I've seen in years!!

Let me know your thoughts!!! Thanks!!

I would say soon the Team Blue superpacs will be ramping up. Team Red's have been buying so much airtime that I can't even watch tv or listen to the radio anymore without hearing silly lies about the Pipeline project or alternative energy or military voting rights.

On topic: From what I can see, this ad turns a legitimate story (Bain Capital is a vulture that destroys lives so Romney could get a tax break for his horse and roof-dog) into a false tragedy (Bain Capital caused a woman to die of cancer). I don't like it, just like I didn't like Palin's death panel screeching. It's cheap shot #267 out of ~5 billion cheap shots that we'll see till November, and I wish neither side would take part.

But Karl Rove proved you cant win an election by being the bigger man, so until the American electorate stops claiming they hate negative ads while allowing them to influence their voting patterns, I suppose this is a post Citizens United landscape.

Lawyeron wrote:

Does a company have moral culpability for what happens to their employees after they are terminated? ie. if there home is foreclosed or the lose insurance.

No I dont believe so, I work for my company they dont own me and I didnt sign an oath to them. I do work for them and I get paid, they dont owe me some sort of lifetime debt.

Lawyeron wrote:

Isn't carrying over insurance after work is terminated (cobra) a federal issue and thus George Bush, in fact, killed this woman?

Cobra isnt free its a continuation of your insurance but at a MUCH higher rate than before. And no Bush didnt kill this woman considering the last 2 facts on your list. Other than possible general anger at Bush why would you say that ??

Lawyeron wrote:

Does a candidate have an obligation to "condemn" or at least distance themselves from a Superpac ad that many would consider is misleading?

I would personally like to see honestly on all fronts on this issue, but I am sure the world would call me stupid and go on its way. I would like to see folks say exactly what they mean, and dont try to create stories that are plain and simple lies.

I think Romney should show us his birth certificate before we start to defend him. How do we know he is a citizen?

Politics is a dirty business, and if the dirtiest one can show Obama supporters to be is sympathizing with a steel worker, mine deeper.

Now then I have to ask. If Mitt Romeny cannot run a steel mill, do we really want him running our country?

I think what we need is a third independent super pac whose sole mission is to expose the lies told by either the Democrats or the Rebublicans. I'd gladly contribute to the pac.

Bear wrote:

I think what we need is a third independent super pac whose sole mission is to expose the lies told by either the Democrats or the Rebublicans. I'd gladly contribute to the pac.

That used to be called the media.

Bear wrote:

I think what we need is a third independent super pac whose sole mission is to expose the lies told by either the Democrats or the Rebublicans. I'd gladly contribute to the pac.

One of Soros's relatives started one specifically to fight against the concept of SuperPACs. But 1) the name Soros is at least as vilified as the name Koch, and 2) there is a certain irony in a SuperPAC bent on destroying itself.

(Poor Jim Koch. Good on you for naming your company the Boston Beer Company, and your flagship product Sam Adams.)

I'm going to discuss this but I want to say right off I really dislike ads like this. Ads where we insist you don't think but just, you know, react with your gut and your heart and your noble American spirit etc etc.

Lawyeron wrote:

Does a company have moral culpability for what happens to their employees after they are terminated? ie. if there home is foreclosed or the lose insurance.

I think that's a broad question for a specific thing happening. A few people being fired is a relatively routine reality for any business. The point the ad seems to be poorly driving home is that folks like Romney and his company shut down whole businesses. That has a large, far reaching effect on communities and many lives. And, indeed, folks like Romney very likely don't care, which is an abhorrent attitude to have.

However, the ad is talking about one solitary man, so no I don't think an employer has a real obligation, morally or otherwise, to an employee that was rightly terminated. I think a good company will try to offer aid of some sort to laid off employees, but it's not an obligation. In this case, there's definitely a difference between having the company shut down and being fired due to poor performance, but even then... ugh.

Isn't carrying over insurance after work is terminated (cobra) a federal issue and thus George Bush, in fact, killed this woman?

Well, cancer killed this woman. That's the problem with logic like this - when you bring a factor to the table and label it the cause, you can then make the same argument for a great deal of other factors. We could say her mother or father killed her, or whatever family member was carrying a predisposition to cancer in her heritage.

Does a candidate have an obligation to "condemn" or at least distance themselves from a Superpac ad that many would consider is misleading?

To a degree. Candidates can't be held accountable for everything everyone supporting them says. I think this ad really isn't so over the top, terribly misleading, or slanderous that it requires any attention from Obama. If the ad insisted Romney was a communist or something, that'd be something else.

I know Republicans wanted Citizens United, so be careful what you wish for. But soon the Republican superpacs will be ramping up. There is already talk of suggesting that Obama pretended to be a foreign citizen to remain in an ivy league college despite his poor grades.

That's the sort of ad I would imagine a candidate needs to address. There's a difference between "shame on you, you cold hearted twit!" and "you're falsifying records".

Lawyeron wrote:

In order to make this debate interesting let's pretend the following facts don't exist:
1. Romney was no longer working with Bain (even on paper) in 2001 when the plant shut down.

That is heavily disputed, and the documentation doesn't back up Romney's version of events. Romney was still signing official tax documents, listed in all primary leadership positions, and attending board meetings in 2001.

With Romney alleging that the Obama administration is suing to prevent soldiers from voting this is clearly the most negative campaign I've seen in years!!

That is actually the exact opposite of reality. http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/romney-early-voting-ohio-lawsuit-false-attack.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

Dude's been gone for 8 years and within a couple of days he's jumped back into P&C. Living up to your name, I see, Lawyeron.

mcdonis wrote:
Lawyeron wrote:

Does a company have moral culpability for what happens to their employees after they are terminated? ie. if there home is foreclosed or the lose insurance.

No I dont believe so, I work for my company they dont own me and I didnt sign an oath to them. I do work for them and I get paid, they dont owe me some sort of lifetime debt.

Relationships besides money do matter. Most employers care about their employees because they are people who have done work for their businesses for years. Since Bain and their ilk are so far removed from a relationship between employer and employee they don't care and the bottom line is more prevalent. This is anti-ethical since it is anti-humane.

Garion, I'm just getting started!

No, I don't think George Bush killed this woman. I was being sarcastic.

Fact of the matters is a lot of steel mills went bankrupt because Japan was dumping steel in the late 90's. We couldn't compete with the low costs.

We can blame Romney because people lost work. However, I drive down a road and see many closed dealerships. The GM reorganization was a product of this administration. What about all the employees of those dealerships? They probably lost their insurance coverage too. Is that Obama's fault? Many people think streamling the automobile companies was a good thing and the allowed General Motors to survive. But if a private capital company does that, it just greedy.

I think ads like this can backfire.

if I were on the campaign I would have tons of ads of Navy Seals saying thanks Obama for making the brave decision to allow us to kill bin laden lol!

How about this..... ads are the problem. They are snippets of information that are never true. Lets just ban them... HAHAHA that will never happen. Marketing works...

Cancer is cruel, merciless, relentless, and random. It kills whoever it wants, whenever it wants. There is nothing anyone could have done, least of all a politician, to change that woman's fate. To suggest otherwise is manipulative and loathsome. The ad is reprehensible. It would be, no matter who it blamed.

goman wrote:
mcdonis wrote:
Lawyeron wrote:

Does a company have moral culpability for what happens to their employees after they are terminated? ie. if there home is foreclosed or the lose insurance.

No I dont believe so, I work for my company they dont own me and I didnt sign an oath to them. I do work for them and I get paid, they dont owe me some sort of lifetime debt.

Relationships besides money do matter. Most employers care about their employees because they are people who have done work for their businesses for years. Since Bain and their ilk are so far removed from a relationship between employer and employee they don't care and the bottom line is more prevalent. This is anti-ethical since it is anti-humane.

I have a hard time saying a company is evil or good for that matter by opening or closing their doors. Its business they arent there to make my life better or help me they are there to make money. And the same is true for me the employee, I am there to get paid not to do things for the betterment of the company because I love them. If they stop paying me would I be there, I doubt it. Its a relationship but its a buisness relationship not a marriage and we arent family. Just like I dont think I am good or evil when I stop buying a product, my actions might help put lots of folks out of jobs because I no longer purchase product x every day.

This kind of ad really isnt designed to change folks minds its designed to fire up the base and get them out to vote. In the case of Obama this is what I would see as the most important thing they need to do. (getting their base fired up and voting) Personally I think Obama can win easily but I think they believe they wont if they cant energize the base like they did 4 years ago.

You can call it what it is but bottom line its effective and takes care of a need for the dems. I would expect to see a lot more ads like this over the rest of the season.

I don't think there is a room left for ads like this to "backfire". Everything is ALREADY blown out of proportion as it is. There is no additional nastiness that a "backfire" could bring about.

I remember seeing an ad about "Obama's key ally pushing more gun control". The background, it turned out -- Rahm Emanuel, now long since a mayor of Chicago, made some statement on enforcing the restrictions. Examples like that can be seen daily. When it comes to flat out of left field stuff in the political ads, there is no unbroken ground left.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

I don't think there is a room left for ads like this to "backfire". Everything is ALREADY blown out of proportion as it is. There is no additional nastiness that a "backfire" could bring about.

I remember seeing an ad about "Obama's key ally pushing more gun control". The background, it turned out -- Rahm Emanuel, now long since a mayor of Chicago, made some statement on enforcing the restrictions. Examples like that can be seen daily. When it comes to flat out of left field stuff in the political ads, there is no unbroken ground left.

Never underestimate anothers ability to hit below the belt. If anyone can find a new way to lie, cheat, steal and bad mouth its politicans.

Mitt gave up any right to complain about misleading ads when he started running misleading ads about his opponents months ago. Also, Swift Boats.

Why do republicans complain so much when someone uses their own tactics against them?

After watching the ad, I think that there's a good argument about health insurance in this man's story which could be pro-Obama. It's unfortunate that he's not making that argument. Bain Cap and Romney are roughly pasted into the center as a cheap, weak, and inappropriate shot instead. What a waste of an opportunity to mention this tragedy as part of a meaningful message. I'm closer to LobsterMobster in terms of how I feel about this.

The ad is ridiculous. And I will add that when we criticize republicans for making false equivalencies (well both sides do it so therefore it is a wash or okay to turn a blind eye towards no matter the large difference in degree), democrats should not do the same.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Cancer is cruel, merciless, relentless, and random. It kills whoever it wants, whenever it wants. There is nothing anyone could have done, least of all a politician, to change that woman's fate. To suggest otherwise is manipulative and loathsome. The ad is reprehensible. It would be, no matter who it blamed.

Are you a Phillip Morris plant?

Kidding. I agree with your point.

After watching the ad, I think that there's a good argument about health insurance in this man's story which could be pro-Obama. It's unfortunate that he's not making that argument.

Maybe THAT's the hidden purpose of the ad? The most persuasive conclusions are those that people make themselves.

mcdonis wrote:
goman wrote:
mcdonis wrote:
Lawyeron wrote:

Does a company have moral culpability for what happens to their employees after they are terminated? ie. if there home is foreclosed or the lose insurance.

No I dont believe so, I work for my company they dont own me and I didnt sign an oath to them. I do work for them and I get paid, they dont owe me some sort of lifetime debt.

Relationships besides money do matter. Most employers care about their employees because they are people who have done work for their businesses for years. Since Bain and their ilk are so far removed from a relationship between employer and employee they don't care and the bottom line is more prevalent. This is anti-ethical since it is anti-humane.

I have a hard time saying a company is evil or good for that matter by opening or closing their doors. Its business they arent there to make my life better or help me they are there to make money. And the same is true for me the employee, I am there to get paid not to do things for the betterment of the company because I love them. If they stop paying me would I be there, I doubt it. Its a relationship but its a buisness relationship not a marriage and we arent family. Just like I dont think I am good or evil when I stop buying a product, my actions might help put lots of folks out of jobs because I no longer purchase product x every day.

So you are saying a company that helps out an employee find a new job or ease the burden of losing a job is the same ethically as one that does not?

Business relationships are what we all decide they are. They are not set in stone.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:
After watching the ad, I think that there's a good argument about health insurance in this man's story which could be pro-Obama. It's unfortunate that he's not making that argument.

Maybe THAT's the hidden purpose of the ad? The most persuasive conclusions are those that people make themselves. :)

Hehe. If so, it's still horribly done in my opinion. The ad makes me wonder if it was culled from a larger interview and forced into the contorted, awkward position it assumes. Maybe that's because I don't want to place any blame on the man who lost his wife, though. Stupid manipulators. STOP IT!

Eh. I can remember when Republicans - not just campaign supporters - spent millions "investigating" assertions that Bill Clinton had actually killed Vince Foster and several other people. It was all crap. So is this.

But the difference is that one is a cheap-shot campaign ad, while the other was an orchestrated campaign supported by Congressmen, Senators, publishers, newspeople and the like, lasting years. And not only is that the style of campaign that Lee Atwater brought us, it's been enabled even more by Citizens United.

Sauce for the goose, I guess. I don't like either, but at the same time, I still have friends who believe Clinton was a murderer. Any process that can yield that much of a result pushing fiction, 20 years after the fact, is a hell of a lot more to worry about than a campaign ad.

Lawyeron wrote:

Fact of the matters is a lot of steel mills went bankrupt because Japan was dumping steel in the late 90's. We couldn't compete with the low costs.

We can blame Romney because people lost work. However, I drive down a road and see many closed dealerships. The GM reorganization was a product of this administration. What about all the employees of those dealerships? They probably lost their insurance coverage too. Is that Obama's fault? Many people think streamling the automobile companies was a good thing and the allowed General Motors to survive. But if a private capital company does that, it just greedy.

That's an inaccurate comparison. Bain either directly caused or heavily contributed to GST's bankruptcy. The government did not contribute to or cause GM's bankruptcy.

Bain saddled the GST with excessive amounts of debt, some of which was issued just so Bain could get paid, and some of which was issued to buy other companies. Loading a company with debt is risky even in the best of economic conditions. Doing it when you're facing massive overseas competition is a recipe for disaster.

Back in 1993, the GST plant was called Armco Worldwide Grinding System. It was a modestly profitable plant ($8.9 million on $197.6 million in revenues) that was part of Armco, a company that had lost more than $750 million over the previous two years. Armco wanted to sell off the plant (and other Worldwide Grinding assets) to help offset its losses and refocus its business.

The management team at the Worldwide Grinding System wanted to do a management buyout and turned to Bain Capital to help them make it happen. Bain purchased the plant for $75 million and ended up with a controlling interest. When you hear "Bain purchased the plant for $75 million" what that really means is that Bain put up a tiny amount of money ($8 million), financed the rest, and made Worldwide Grinding System (now renamed GST) liable for all everything.

After that, Bain did what Bain did. First, it made sure it got paid. It quickly got back $12 million on its initial investment and, over the course of owning GST, charged the company $4.5 million in consulting and administrative fees.

Second, Bain forced the company to take on massive amounts of debt so it could really get paid. GST issued $125 million in bonds in 1994 and Bain took $36.1 million of that as a "dividend." A company facing strong overseas competition shouldn't simply hand over nearly 29% of cash it raised. It should have invested it to make the company more competitive or simply saved it for a rainy day.

Third, Bain followed its standard plan of using mergers or acquisitions to "bulk up" companies so they can either be sold for much more or, the Holy Grail, taken public. In this case Bain had GST take out another $125 million in debt to merge with Georgetown Industries, another wire rod manufacturer.

In two quick years Bain had purchased a profitable plant of a troubled company, squeezed out tens of millions of dollars in profit, and left the company saddled with several hundred million in debt. The final insult was that when the company went bankrupt in 2001 it was determined that it had underfunded its pension system by $44 million and the US taxpayers had to pick up the tab.

So in the case of GST it was Bain's business decisions and Bain's greed that played a significant role in the company declaring bankruptcy and all those jobs disappearing. The real question would be whether or not GST could have survived the 90s had it not been saddled with so much debt by Bain (and the worker still being employed and getting health insurance). But hypotheticals and tracing corporate ownership and debt issuance doesn't make for punchy political ads.

goman wrote:

So you are saying a company that helps out an employee find a new job or ease the burden of losing a job is the same ethically as one that does not?

Business relationships are what we all decide they are. They are not set in stone.

I am saying that its ok for someone to go out of their way to help others but if I then say you are bad if you dont then I am in affect saying I am entitled to such a thing. The reverse is also true as an employee when I get that better job I give notice and leave. Say I offer to stay longer and help train a replacment, thats my choice. If I choose not to and move on I am not evil. The opposite of that would be the employer saying to me, well you cant leave until you find us a suitable replacement and train them.

Er... why is this a separate topic and not in the 2012 Presidential Election catch-all?

Just for the attention grabbling headline I guess...

Stele wrote:

Er... why is this a separate topic and not in the 2012 Presidential Election catch-all?

Just for the attention grabbling headline I guess... :D

Did they have catch-all threads 8 years ago? Was space an issue?

I don't think it's a bad thing to create a separate topic if you want to dive deeper into a particular component. With that said, yeah... the topic is an attention-grabber.

LouZiffer wrote:

I don't think it's a bad thing to create a separate topic if you want to dive deeper into a particular component. With that said, yeah... the topic is an attention-grabber. ;)

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