Dem senator made big money off outsourcing he attacked


Photo source: United States Senate, Public Domain

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly pocketed $80,000 in profits from a family business that outsourced jobs to Mexico, while at the same time campaigning to voters as an opponent of the practice.

The Associated Press broke the story Friday.

Donnelly has cast himself to voters as an opponent of U.S.-based companies sending jobs overseas, with repeated campaign and official Senate statements specifically targeting the high-profile case of the Carrier corporation liquidating around 1,000 jobs at an Indiana factory, with many going to Mexico.

But as Donnelly slammed Carrier for outsourcing, he collected around $80,000 in profits as a shareholder in Stewart Superior Corp., an arts and crafts company owned by his brother, which switched to cheaper Mexican labor to make its inkpads.

The AP broke the story Friday morning. By Friday afternoon Donnelly had issued a statement declaring he was selling his stock and claiming he was unaware his brother’s company, in which he used to be an officer, was using Mexican labor.

The company’s website not only talks about its use of Mexican labor, but uses it as a selling point to customers.

“A recently opened manufacturing plant in Guadalajara, Mexico now brings economical, cost competitive manufacturing and product development to our valued customers,” the “About Us” page reads.

“What you’re seeing with Carrier is what I call free riders,” Donnelly said in 2016. “What they do because of the trade agreement NAFTA, is they ship jobs to Mexico for $3 an hour, and so they get the benefit of the absolute lowest wages they can find, and then turn around to ship the products back into the United States.”

“In a financial disclosure form he filed in May, Donnelly reported owning as much as $50,000 in company stock and earning between $15,001 and $50,000 in dividends on it in 2016 alone,” the AP reports. Donnelly also previously served Stewart Superior Corp as a corporate officer and general counsel.

The switch to Mexican labor, which Donnelly criticized when done by Carrier, appears to have literally paid off for him. While the size of his investment in the company has not changed in three years, his profits off the stock have risen dramatically.

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