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Haunting Romney

A word with Randy Johnson, a union operative with unfinished business.


Illustration by David Johnson  

Back in 1994, you worked at a paper plant in Marion, Indiana, that was purchased by Ampad, an office-supply company.
We came back from Fourth of July, and it was announced that we’d no longer be employed. Pinkerton guards walked us out. If we wanted our jobs back, Ampad would accept applications the next day. It was bad. We ended up striking on September 1.

When did you first hear of Mitt Romney?
About three weeks into the strike, we found out that Ampad is 82 percent owned by Bain Capital and that the CEO is a man named Mitt Romney who is running against Ted Kennedy for Senate. We figured the only way to get a meeting with Romney was to go where he was, so we sent a Truth Squad to confront him.

This became a big issue in that race because Romney claimed that he’d helped create jobs. He’s saying the same thing now.
Don’t tell me I created jobs and leave out the fact that they’re low-wage, part-time, no-benefit-type jobs. His business model is about taking care of the people who invested with him, but what does he build?

A former colleague of Romney’s at Bain once said, We had a scheme where the rich got richer. I did it, and I feel good about it. But I’m not planning to run for office.
Romney has never showed me anything to make me think he was good for average working people. This is a country of haves and have-nots, and Romney represents the haves.

If he wins the nomination, will you bring the Truth Squad back?
I’m going to campaign as hard as I can against him. I can’t help but take some of this personally. I’ve seen 258 workers and their families that were suffering when all Mitt Romney had to do was help. How would he benefit this country?


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