Laid Off Janesville Factory Worker Urges Wisconsinites To Retire Paul Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, on March 22, 2016 in
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen is airing a new, 60-second ad featuring the endorsement of a laid off Janesville GM factory worker.

In the ad, a former GM worker named Marv stands outside the shuttered Janesville plant.

Marv tells viewers that he loved his job and had intended to work there until the day he died. However, those plans were shattered when the Janesville plant shut down the majority of its production two days before Christmas in 2008— impacting roughly 1,200 Wisconsin workers who had been employed at the facility.

Marv says that he has “no love for Paul Ryan” and “wouldn’t vote for him for dog catcher.” Instead, Marv says that he backs Ryan’s challenger, Paul Nehlen, “100 percent.”

Below is a transcript of the ad:

Marv: “This is my plant. This is the General Motors plant in which I spent 50 years working here. Janesville had—at one time—had the best workforce in General Motors. I had a good job. I was happy with my job. I really liked my job.”

Interviewer: “What happened?”

Marv: “They shut the plant down. I wanted to work ‘til I died. The poor and the people who need the jobs are the ones that are getting left out. I have no love for Paul Ryan whatsoever. I’m a Democrat, okay? I’ll tell ya, I wouldn’t vote for him for dog catcher.”

Interviewer: “Would you vote for Paul Nehlen if he could bring the jobs back?”

Marv: “Oh, you bet I would. With Paul Nehlen—he’ll bring the jobs back—I’m all supportive of that. I back him up 100 percent. If I could vote twice, I’d vote twice! [laughs]

At the time of its closing, the Janesville facility was the oldest GM plant in the nation. Opened in 1919, the Janesville plant once employed more than 7,000 Wisconsin workers.

After announcing the lay offs of its employees in 2008, the plant remained idle for six years before announcing its official closure in 2015.

In 2012, Business Insider described the large, abandoned factory as a “symbol of this city’s descent into economic calamity.”

Since Paul Ryan took office in 1999, Wisconsin has lost one-fifth of its total manufacturing jobs.

“Between 1998 and 2007, auto manufacturers and suppliers cut more than 7,400 jobs in the state,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Then in 2008, Janesville saw 5,000 jobs at GM and other auto-related companies disappear from the community, the Journal Sentinel reports.

Last November, Oscar Meyer announced that it was shutting down its headquarters in Madison, “wiping out hundreds of jobs at a company that has been a part of the community’s fabric since 1919,” the Associated Press wrote.

Yet Paul Ryan has been one of Congress’ leading champions for globalist trade policies that impact American jobs and American workers.

Last year, Ryan served as President Obama’s “partner” in his effort to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership— even though Wisconsin suffered a net loss of nearly 40,000 jobs in 2015 alone due to the U.S. trade deficit with TPP countries, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

In 1999, the year Paul Ryan took office, the U.S. trade deficit in goods with China was $68.7 billion. By 2015, our trade deficit in goods with China had ballooned to $367.2 billion.

Soon after arriving in Washington, Ryan voted to give China permanent normal trade relations status with the U.S.

In 2010, Ryan voted against a proposal to crack down on Chinese currency cheating, even though Ryan has admitted, whilst on the campaign trail, that China manipulates its currency.

In 2015, Ryan pushed to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership even as President Obama was indicating that China could eventually join the TPP.

Marv is perhaps not the only Janesville worker who shares “no love for Paul Ryan”. In the 2012 election, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney lost Ryan’s hometown of Janesville by 25 points.

As the elected representative of Wisconsin’s first Congressional District, Ryan has presided over the shuttering of factories that had previously been fixtures of the community for decades. Ryan watched as many of these companies shipped his constituents’ jobs overseas—a fact that Nehlen’s campaign has highlighted.

Last year, Wisconsin’s WKOW reported that Eaton Corp— for the third time in just over two years— was laying off Wisconsin workers and shipping their jobs to Mexico. In 2015, the company announced that it was shutting down its manufacturing of molded rubber products, laying off 83 employees and sending their jobs to Queretaro, Mexico. A few months earlier, the company announced that it was moving the manufacturing of its printed circuit boards from Watertown, Wisconsin to Tijuana, Mexico— resulting in the elimination of 93 Wisconsin jobs. In 2013, Eaton Corp. laid off 163 Wisconsin workers and shipped their jobs off to Mexico as well.

A company spokesman said that the latest move would “allow the business to continue to compete globally.”

In 2009, the Chrysler plant in Kenosha closed its doors as well— reportedly sending the jobs of 850 Wisconsin workers to Mexico. The move represented the “end of more than a century of auto production in Kenosha, where Ramblers first came off the line in 1902,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote.

Shortly after Ryan first arrived in Congress, the Gillette Company “announced that it was closing its Parker Pen factory and moving about 300 jobs overseas,” the New York Times reported.

In 2010, 153 Janesville workers saw their jobs shipped to Mexicali, Mexico as Janesville lost its last remaining operations tied to the Parker Pens.

As the New York Times reports, “Parker Pen had long been the pride of Janesville.” Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower reportedly used a Parker pen to sign the German surrender papers in Europe. Gen. Douglas MacArthur used a Parker fountain pen to sign the Japanese surrender agreement. Janesville’s Parker pens were used “to sign the treaty that ended the Spanish-Amerian War, as well as the treaty that ended the nuclear arms race,” the Journal Sentinel writes.

Parker Pens began in Janesville in 1888. In 1919, George Parker built in “what would become the largest pen factory in the world at 219 Court St. in downtown Janesville. The company remained one of the city’s largest employers for the next 70 years,” notes the Janesville GazetteXtra. At one point, the company employed more than 1,000 Janesville workers.

Parker Pens, GazetteXtra writes, “put Janesville, Wisconsin, on the map”:

“The names “Parker” and “Janesville” became famously synonymous… That’s because two names were imprinted on the side of the pens, and ‘Janesville’ was as big as ‘Parker.’”

Parker’s great-grandson explained that he had put both names on his pens as a way to acknowledge all of the Janesville workers who helped manufacture the pen: “There was no practical way to put everyone’s name on the pen… [so] he figured the best way to get everyone else’s name who contributed to that pen was to put ‘Janesville’ on there.”

When it was announced that the last remaining facility tied to Parker Pens was moving from Janesville to Mexico, the parent company said that the closure was not a reflection of the “highly valued” performance of is Janesville employees, but rather that the move to Mexico was in response to “market trends.”

As GazetteXtra notes, reminders the company’s former influence are visible all over town. For instance, on Saturday, Nehlen volunteers gathered at Parker Park to begin knocking doors in Janesville. Nehlen then held a press conference in front of the border fence of Ryan’s Georgian style brick mansion—a home, which ironically, was built by the Parker family.

Standing in front of Ryan’s fenced-off estate, Nehlen declared that Ryan was the most “anti-worker member of Congress in either party.”

Ryan “sold out his district to his corporate masters,” Nehlen said. “Can you name one time when Paul Ryan fought as hard for you and your family as he’s fought for corporate America?”


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