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Right Turn
Posted at 05:58 PM ET, 01/16/2012

More ‘King of Bain’ misstatements

Newt Gingrich is understandably frazzled. The social conservative leaders in Texas picked Rick Santorum. So he has sent out a series of whiny statements complaining that he really had some support, too.

Meanwhile, his anti-Bain attack has been a colossal misstep, which numerous fact-checkers, including The Post’s Glenn Kessler, have shown to be rife with errors. Rather than admit error and substantially edit the film or take it down, Rick Tyler, who heads the super PAC Winning Our Future and previously was a longtime aide of Gingrich, has taken to name-calling. On MSNBC he blithely announced, “The fact-checker often gets his facts wrong.” Kessler tells me Tyler has not contacted him to raise any specific objections to his debunking of the “King of Bain” ad.

But in fact, Kessler and many others are on the money, so to speak, in uncovering one untruth after another. Take the case of DDi. The Associated Press reported on the “King of Bain’s” accusations against this tech company:

DDi CORP.: Romney and Bain wrung “enormous financial gain” out of the California tech manufacturing and engineering company by firing employees and dumping stock before it went into bankruptcy.
THE FACTS: The transactions charted in the film come after Romney’s tenure at Bain, though he is believed to have profited from DDi stock sales after his departure. Viewers aren’t told the Anaheim company blamed the bursting of the dot-com bubble for its fall, that it emerged from bankruptcy and is in business today.

Actually, DDi is a huge success story. Kessler passes on a letter from Mike Williams, the chief executive of DDi, who tells Kessler: “I believe that the portrayal of DDi in the Winning our Future super PAC video, which I reviewed from the internet yesterday, is inaccurate and unfair. Further, I do not believe the pictures used in the video are even of DDi. The video fails to tell the full, accurate story of DDi, as well as the private equity industry.”

Below is an extended excerpt from Williams’s letter:

Today we are a significant presence in the electronics manufacturing industry, with an unusual US centric business model despite the industry having largely moved off-shore to low cost regions of the world, principally China. We have six plants in the US (2 in California, 2 in Ohio, 1 in Colorado and Virginia each) and one in Canada. Currently, DDi is profitable, generating cash and re-investing our cash flow into our facilities and our people. We are bringing technical innovation to the market and serving over 1,000 customers. Further, we are paying a dividend to our shareholders to reward them for their support and trust in our company.
All of this would not have been possible without the financial support of this country’s capital markets, including private equity. This includes Bain Capital. It should be noted that, in 2005 when DDi raised equity capital from our current shareholders to pay off all of our remaining outstanding debt, a Bain fund invested into the common stock of DDi in support of the business. Without our shareholders’ support, DDi may have disappeared or been forced to move to a low cost region of the world. If so, the life support for our employees would have also disappeared. This did not happen. On behalf of our employees, I am grateful for the support of our shareholders.
None of this was addressed in the PAC’s video, as I assume a full and fair portrayal of DDi would not serve the political interests of their candidate. I believe this is basic dishonesty, the impact of which impacts DDi and certainly does not positively help in our ability to compete in the domestic and global markets. I can assure you that American electronics manufacturers have enough challenges in today’s globalized industry that we do not need our politicians mischaracterizing our company in the national media.
I have tried to contact the PAC using their phone number listed on their web site, yet calls do not go through. If you have a way that I can contact them, I would appreciate your sharing it with me. One would think that today’s politicians would be interested in helping a company like DDi, as an positive example of US manufacturer who is not out-sourcing jobs overseas. I suppose this all comes after their personal political interests.

Tyler would not comment on the substance of Williams’s claims. He e-mails simply that he “stands by the film.”

Perhaps the candidate, however, is less enamored of peddling falsehood. Yesterday, Gingrich traveled to Georgetown, S.C., site of the GSI steel plant, which is also featured in the “King of Bain” hit piece. Gingrich chose to not even mention “Bain.”

Romney’s business dealings may be objectionable in some regard. He may have exaggerated the number of jobs created. But neither Gingrich nor his super PAC have provedso, and their disregard for accuracy, even for a political campaign, is troubling.

By  |  05:58 PM ET, 01/16/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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