The President of the Kansas City AFL-CIO, Pat ‘Duke’ Dujakovich brought presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s record in private business back into the campaign.
Hours before Romney was to be hat a private Kansas City fund raiser, Dujakovich point out Romney’s firm, Bain Capital, and it’s role in a failed Kansas City steel plant, know as GST.
The plant filed for bankruptcy eight years after Bain bought control. About 700 workers lost their jobs. According to news reports, Bain made money.
A federal agency, however, had to step in and restore the worker’s pension funds.
“I’m just amazed of the balls Romney gas to come to Kansas City after what he did to GST”, Dujakovich told reporters.
Dujakovich and a former GST worker who is now a Democratic activist in Kansas City condemned Romney’s second visit to the Kansas City metro this year.
“Of all the places you can go and raise money, don’t show your face in Kansas City,” Dujakovich charged, “you really got a bad name.”
The only it is thought Romney ever talked about the Kansas City steel plant was during a March 13 interview with KMBC TV. Romney was pressed on the issue in the brief interview.
When he was asked if he had anything to say the plant’s former workers, he replied, ” Anytime anyone loses a job, it is a personal tragedy. You never want to see a business shed jobs, become unprofitable or close down. No one wants that to happen. You always want enterprises to be successful.”
Romney’s role in private business was a white hot issue in the South Carolina primary. Romney list the state.
Some Republicans urged Romney’s challengers at the time to back away from the issue.
The Kansas City steel plant was not the only American steel plant struggling in that era.
Cheap steel from Asia was undercutting US prices. GST was not the only American steel plant to fail in those times. Ban’s overall record in turning around business was quite good. The Wall Street Journal Reported the company had. 78% success rate. Romney’s early evening Kanas City fund raiser was by invitation only. It was closed to reporters.