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Chairman Zody Calls on Lawson to Address Federal Government’s Request for Personal Information of Hoosier Voters
INDIANAPOLIS–On Friday, Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody called on Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson to be transparent with Hoosiers on whether she intends to comply with the federal government’s request for the personal information of all Hoosier voters.
“Indiana law is very specific about what voter information is and is not available to the public, and the letter from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity asks for information that is above and beyond what is allowed under state statute,” said Zody. “As a member of this commission, is Secretary Lawson going to comply with existing state statute or try to maneuver around it and provide extensive personal information of more than 4.3 million registered voters in our state?”
The request for information has come from Commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach, the incumbent Kansas Secretary of State. The request asks for the name, address, date of birth, social security number information, voting history, law enforcement record and political party of every voter in the United States – all in the wake of unsubstantiated claims from President Trump that millions voted illegally in last year’s elections.
“For the federal government to ask state election administrators to provide information on every registered voter in their states is both an intrusion on the ability for states to administer and uphold the integrity of a de-centralized election administration system in our country, and a violation of the privacy of millions upon millions of voters. Connie Lawson owes an immediate explanation to Hoosiers on what her plans are to respond to this egregious request by a Commission that was formed on the premise of unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2016 elections.”
In calling on Secretary Lawson to be transparent and announce her intentions, Zody has joined other officials across the country to call on the Election Integrity Commission to make public all information pertaining to its mission, investigations and meetings, the first of which is to be held in July.
Nearly 53% of Indiana ballots cast during the 2016 election were cast by women. Hoosier women make up a formidable majority yet GOP lawmakers continue to pass legislation targeting women’s rights. It’s time we stand together and put GOP legislators on notice.
INDIANAPOLIS-In December, Donald Trump saw a political opportunity to respond to proposed layoffs in Indiana. His solution: give Carrier $7 million in taxpayer money in exchange for its parent company temporarily keeping less than half of the jobs in Indiana.
The Associated Press recently confirmed that that 1,500 layoffs are moving forward, but Trump has so far been silent.
South Bend Mayor and DNC Transition Advisory Committee Member Pete Buttigieg said: “We’re not surprised that Trump has proven to be all talk when it comes to keeping jobs in the U.S. We don’t see him acting to keep these jobs from leaving Indiana, just like he never stopped making his own products overseas. Now that the campaign is over, our workers are being stiffed.”
Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody said, “When Donald Trump smelled a political opportunity, he came to Indiana under the guise of defending our jobs. But now that the cameras are gone, 1,500 Hoosiers are losing their jobs, and Trump takes zero responsibility and is nowhere to be found.”
Associated Press / Tom Davies
About 1,500 workers at three Indiana factories are facing layoffs despite hopes that President Donald Trump would convince the companies to reverse plans for moving production to Mexico.
United Technologies confirmed Friday that the first wave of about 50 layoffs happened last week at its electronics plant that had about 700 workers in Huntington. The plant in the northeastern Indiana city is slated for closure.
Steps are also being taken toward about 550 job cuts anticipated at a Carrier Corp. factory in Indianapolis, where Trump’s intervention last fall curbed job losses but didn’t halt them altogether. Layoffs could start within a month at a 350-worker Rexnord industrial bearings factory in Indianapolis, according to United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones, who represents workers at the Carrier and Rexnord plants.
Trump visited the Carrier factory on Dec. 1, touting his role in the decision of parent company United Technologies to reverse about 800 of its some 1,400 planned job cuts at the furnace plant and only partially move operations to Mexico. Trump told a crowd of workers and company officials: “Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. It’s not going to happen.”
The following day, Trump tweeted: “Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!”
Connecticut-based United Technologies and Milwaukee-based Rexnord have since pushed on preparations for the jobs cuts, taking steps such as removing equipment from the Indiana factories without any signs of additional Trump intervention.
“We haven’t heard anything at all. With that being said, I have to assume the Rexnord and Carrier situations are both done deals,” said Jones, who was chastised by a Trump tweet in early December after complaining that Trump had given false hope to workers by inflating the number of Carrier jobs being kept in Indianapolis.
Fifty-three people worked their final shifts at the United Technologies Electronic Controls factory in Huntington on March 10, and about 100 more job cuts could come within the next week, said Julie Marsh, who was vice president of the plant’s union local before taking a voluntary layoff from her job of 17 years last week.
“I couldn’t take it anymore,” Marsh said in a phone interview Friday. “It was hard to see the equipment going out. It’s hard to watch people’s faces because everybody knows it’s coming now.”
Company officials have said the Huntington factory could be shut down in early 2018.
Jones said about 300 Carrier workers applied to accept voluntary layoffs, which could begin in September. Those workers will receive a severance package including one week’s pay for every year of employment and six months of paid medical insurance.
A spokeswoman for Carrier confirmed the plans for voluntary layoffs but didn’t respond to questions about whether additional rollbacks of the production shifts had been considered.
Rexnord officials didn’t reply to requests for comment. Rexnord CEO Todd Adams said in a February conference call with analysts that he didn’t see anything from Trump’s talk on tariffs and possible foreign trade restrictions to change the company’s decision about operating in Mexico.
“We’re very much a U.S. manufacturer, but we have global customers and serve global markets, so we sort of have to manufacture in a lot of different places to be an effective participant in the marketplace,” Adams said.
Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger said in a recent interview that state officials unsuccessfully tried to talk with Rexnord about its decision. He said government officials lacked leverage with Rexnord that they had with United Technologies — which also owns Pratt & Whitney, a big supplier of fighter jet engines that relies in part on U.S. military contracts.
“We don’t have the federal contracts to hold over their head, like we had, like the president had, on Carrier,” Schellinger said. “But we tried to reach out.”