News Release

Laid Off Steelworker in Anti-Romney Ad Doesn’t Want Obama Either

Donnie Box was featured in a Priorities USA Action ad outside a shutdown plant: “Romney and Bain Capital shut this place down. They shut down entire livelihoods. They promised us a health care package, they promised to maintain our retirement program, and those are the first two things to disappear. This was a booming place, and (On screen: Mitt Romney and Bain Capital made MILLIONS on the deal. Reuters, 1/6/12) Mitt Romney and Bain Capital turned it into a junkyard, just making money and leaving. They don’t live in this neighborhood. They don’t live in this part of the world.” See:

MIKE ELK, mike at inthesetimes.com, @mikeelk
A reporter for In These Times magazine, Elk just wrote the piece “Laid Off Steelworker in Anti-Romney Ad Says He Is Not Voting for Obama,” which states: “For nearly the past year, the United Steelworkers has been attacking Romney’s record at Bain Capital, citing the experience of their former members who were negatively affected during Romney’s tenure there. The sympathy these laid off Steelworkers generated in the media eventually led to Democrats such as President Barack Obama picking up the attacks, despite the misgiving of major party figures like Bill Clinton.

“The United Steelworkers’ initial accusations regarding the GS Technologies plant closing have proven explosive enough to potentially derail Romney’s presidential bid. Their effectiveness also suggests labor’s new strategy of doing its own political actions separate from the Democratic Party is starting to pay off. …

“Despite appearing in an ad for the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA, denouncing Romney’s role in the GS Technologies plant closing, Box, a lifelong Democrat, says he won’t be voting for the first time since 1971 because he has lost faith in politicians.

“‘I could really care less about Obama,’ says Box. ‘I think Obama is a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard. He hasn’t done a goddamn thing that he said he would do. When he had a Democratic Senate and Democratic Congress, he didn’t do a damn thing. He doesn’t have the guts to say what’s on his mind.’

“Box’s refusal to vote for Obama shows the challenges that organized labor faces in convincing its members to vote for Democrats. Many union members like Box feel the party hasn’t pushed hard enough for jobs bills or labor law reform while making sure to pass trade pacts, like the South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which the AFL-CIO and the United Steelworkers opposed.”