Last Thursday, the Boston Globe published a critical article about Republican Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez’s business career that was immediately picked up and repeated by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
But the central claim of the charge–that Advent International, the company that Gomez worked for, had shipped jobs from one Massachusetts company to China–backfired when it was revealed that one of Advent’s owners is the Illinois Pension Fund, which is responsible for paying President Obama’s pension from his eight years of service as an Illinois State Senator. The Illinois Policy Institute estimates the lifetime payout value of that pension is $383,535.
Justin Barasky, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, apparently oblivious to President Obama’s financial interest in the success of Gomez’s former firm, echoed the Globe‘s claim that Advent International had shipped jobs to China at the expense of a Massachusetts firm. “As Gomez’s record of helping send jobs to China is revealed…it’s clear he is on the wrong side of Massachusetts and would support extreme, right-wing Republican policies in Washington,” Barasky said in a statement released on Thursday.
Republican sources claim, among other objections, that the Globe’s article made two conflicting cases against Gomez. First, the Globe argued that Gomez was not very successful at Advent International because he was never made a partner at the firm during his nine years there. Secondly, however, the Globe gave him full credit for the management of Advent’s investment in a Massachusetts firm, Synventive Molding Solutions, which they claim shipped jobs to China almost immediately after Advent’s acquisition.
According to the Globe “Synventive had 550 employees when Advent bought it. By 2009, the economy was in trouble, and two of Synventive’s largest customers, General Motors and Chrysler, had filed for bankruptcy. The company’s head count fell to 500, in part due to layoffs in Peabody. At the same time, Synventive was expanding rapidly in China as it shifted some manufacturing and engineering functions there and to Germany.”
The Globe offered slender proof that Synventive jobs were shipped to China: “In March 2009, 18 laid-off Synventive workers, many over age 50, were offered government aid to retrain, specifically because their jobs were being moved overseas, according to the Department of Labor.”
Gomez denied the job shifting charge. “There weren’t jobs moved overseas. The biggest producers in the automotive industry back then were over in Asia,” he told the Globe.
When Advent sold Synventive in 2011, the company had 770 employees worldwide, up from the 550 it had when Advent acquired it in 2005.