For Mitt Romney, It’s 1994

Nearly two decades ago, Teddy Kennedy placed attacks on Bain Capital at the centerpiece of his senate campaign. His prime target was Ampad, a Bain-owned company that had bought an Indiana plant. According to a recent biography, The Real Romney, “the day Ampad bought the factory, SCM [the former owner] fired the workers. Many were rehired, but at lesser wages and reduced benefits.” Kennedy’s campaign, the authors claim, seized on the opportunity to cast Romney as the villain, and made “six thirty-second TV spots featuring nine Ampad workers” that were “withering” in their criticism.

Now, the Obama campaign is hoping that the Ampad saga — including the follow-up story that around 200 employees lost their jobs when the plant closed in 1995 — will turn voters against Romney. Yesterday, the campaign released a six-minute video about Ampad, featuring interviews from angry former employees. A sample quote from a former employee: “To me, Mitt Romney takes from the poor and middle class  and gives to the rich. It’s just the opposite of Robin Hood.”

Keep reading this post . . .

  • Tseeker2

    According to a former Mead Corp.
    executive who posted on another forum, the Obama ad (resurrected from the ones that Teddy Kennedy ran against Romney in their Mass. senatorial campaign) attacking Mitt Romney and Bain Capital for
    the bankruptcy of Ampad/SCM is very misleading! This man worked at
    the Mead division that owned Ampad and says he was Director of
    Procurement for both the Mead division and Ampad.

    He says that Mead acquired Ampad in 1986 and
    eventually sold the company to Bain in 1992 after failing to make a
    profit. According to this source, Ampad was fatally wounded by the prior management of
    the company when Mead made the acquisition. The CEO, Fran Gulliano,
    and his top lieutenants made huge salaries and lived extravagantly
    off the company. The companies profits and cash flows were used to
    compensate these executives excessively and made all of them very
    wealthy. Prior to their leadership Ampad was a strong performing
    company and a leader in its trade channel. Mead acquired Ampad
    desiring their expertise for pad making and their solid name
    established in the NOPA channels.
     
    This acquisition was made just as
    the Office Products market in the US had peaked and was
    beginning to decline as a result of the huge big box office products
    stores and the
    business model changed tremendously. Ampad was not organized to
    deal with the changes which created a continuing loss of market share
    and tremendous pressure on the profit margins. Also, Mead had a lot
    of difficulties integrating Ampad into the Mead organization and,
    after 5 years of under performance, the decision was made to sell the
    company and cut the losses.

    Bain made the best offer for the
    company and brought in a team of experienced managers to run the
    company. However, Ampad still had many problems, such as excess
    capacity (to many plants and to much equipment), which Mead had not
    addressed. Bain attempted to clean up the company and make it a lean
    company capable to respond to customers quicker and lower its cost to
    compete with off shore competition (imports). The changes made by
    Bain would be made by any good, responsibly managed company. They
    had to close any unproductive plants and get rid of surplus capacity
    in order to reduce the debt load and be profitable. Reduction of some
    jobs was necessary in order to try to save a lot of other jobs.  In the end it didn’t work. 
     
    So is this what happened or was Bain an evil monster destroying people’s jobs for fun and profit?