David Perdue - in his own words
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After having never written a letter to the editor in all the time I have resided in Coffee County, I now find myself writing another in a span of a few weeks. The issues are important and additional facts have come to light that the public should be aware of.
In my first letter, I addressed the falsity of certain campaign “terrorists” ads run by U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue. I also expressed concern about Mr. David Perdue’s connections to former Governor Sonny Perdue, as well as representations by David Perdue in his ads in which he claims he has been and will be a job creator. I expressed particular concern about these representations and cited examples that lead me to think he is not as he has portrayed himself.
Recently, a transcript of a deposition of Mr. Perdue has come to my attention which confirms my suspicions that he is not a job creator and his ads to that effect are misleading. Let me explain.
A deposition is a process whereby lawyers are allowed to take the sworn testimony of a witness in a civil case. Some years ago, Mr. Perdue’s deposition was taken in connection with the Pillowtex bankruptcy. He was represented by a lawyer who was present while Mr. Perdue was asked questions. Some of the questions asked Mr. Perdue are particularly relevant to his claim that he is a “job creator.”
On page five of his deposition Mr. Perdue is asked:
Q. Can you describe your experience with outsourcing?
A. (Mr. Perdue) Yeah, I spent most of my career doing that.
Mr. Perdue continues and outlines how he outsourced with various employers including
Kurt Salmon associates, Gitano, and Sara Lee. He explains, “ …with Gitano and Sara Lee, having lived there, I lived in Singapore with Gitano and in Hong Kong with Sara Lee, sourcing was my primary responsibility in both of those locations.”(page 7) Then another question and response:
Q.When you joined Reebok, was Reebok outsourcing all of its products to Asia?
A.Yes. Predominantly. We did a few off the wall products in our development center there in Stoughton.
One of his early employers, according to his deposition, was Kurt Salmon and Associates, a company that specialized in outsourcing manufacturing for apparel companies. With Sara Lee, Mr. Perdue explained he built the Asia operation from the ground up. Readers may recall this was a company that shut down plants in the U.S. and terminated jobs, many in Georgia. One of Mr. Perdue’s missions at Pillowtex was to shift portions of the company’s manufacturing operations to lower-cost foreign factories especially in Asia. He also outsourced at Haggar, where plants were closed and jobs terminated and sent to foreign countries where they could pay $1.50 per hour.
So we now know that Mr. Perdue, with the exception of Kurt Salmon, rarely stayed with a company longer than four years. We know that he was involved in outsourcing when employed in following jobs: Reebok, Sara Lee, Gitano, Haggar, and Kurt Salmon. We know that following a sharp decline in profitability that he was replaced by Dollar General. We know that the Pillowtex job involved implementing a plan that would impact employees and plant facilities. We know that he and his cousin are currently partners in a company that engages in international trading.
Some may say outsourcing is good business. It is for executives like Mr. Perdue, but not for American workers. It has gutted much of the nation’s industrial base, driven wages down and left a lot of communities without an economic core or even reason for existence. Aside from a consideration of the propriety of outsourcing itself, the simple fact of the matter is that the David Perdue who has been revealed in his deposition and overtime is not the David Perdue that he and his cousin wish to project or that is portrayed in his ads.
Mr. Perdue is a cold blooded businessman who has made millions by destroying, not creating. You can hear the dispassionate mindset reflected in Perdue’s deposition as he recounts his career of closing plants, shipping business overseas and destroying the lives of so many that dedicated their lives to his companies, the employees of which, such as Pillowtex, thought he was going to save them.
James D. Hudson, Sr.