“Clawback” provisions Rep. Braun opposed would have prevented Carrier from keeping tax breaks from Indiana as it outsourced Indiana jobs
INDIANAPOLIS – After catapulting himself into the top-tier of Indiana’s GOP Senate primary with an infusion of his own money, State Rep. Mike Braun is positioning himself as an outsider who can capture the conservative grassroots. But while those voters oppose the multinational corporations who rig the system against American workers, Rep. Braun put the desires of Carrier before Hoosier workers in one of Indiana’s highest-profile outsourcing episodes.
After donating roughly $800,000 of his own money to his campaign to round out a $1 million fundraising quarter, Rep. Braun vaulted himself into the thick of the primary race overnight. He believes that as a successful businessman and the only major candidate who isn’t a Washington Republican, he has an inside track to the conservative grassroots who catapulted Donald Trump to victory in last May’s primary.
The problem with that strategy, though, is that there are few issues that raise the anger of those same voters like massive companies that take advantage of unfair trade deals to ship jobs to other countries, especially after receiving public funds here at home. And there’s no company in Indiana more synonymous with the practice than Carrier, after its announcement last February that it would ship 1,400 jobs to Mexico.
That’s why in March of 2016, the Indiana House overwhelmingly approved Rep. Karlee Macer’s “clawback” amendment that would penalize companies that have received incentives or tax breaks and then moved jobs out of Indiana. Carrier had received more than $520,000 from the state in property tax incentives before announcing the move. The amendment passed the House with a massive bipartisan majority, 60-34, though it did not become law.
Rep. Braun however, broke with his party to vote against the provision and side with Carrier. He appears to have remained on that side throughout the process, and thanks to like-minded voices, the next Indiana company to outsource jobs will still hang onto its tax incentives.
“Rep. Braun may want to claim he’s on the side of the grassroots voters tired of a rigged system, but when the chips are down, he’s just another millionaire putting the desires of multinational corporations before hardworking Hoosiers,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Every Hoosier knows where their elected officials stood on Carrier’s announcement—and while Joe Donnelly stood shoulder to shoulder with the workers who lost their jobs, Rep. Braun broke even with his own party to essentially give Carrier a thumbs up for shipping jobs to other countries. There’s not enough money in Rep. Braun’s bank account to make voters forget he put outsourcers’ profits over people.”