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Don’t ignore Delphi truth

Published: Sun, July 29, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

We’ve heard a lot lately about retirees who worked at Delphi, an automotive parts supplier for GM, and I think it’s important to set the record straight. The loss of pensions among Delphi’s retirees is tragic, but Ohioans deserve the facts of this case rather than Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans’ political distortions.

Three years ago, the American auto industry was on the brink, facing a bankruptcy that would have decimated Ohio’s economy. But President Obama made the bold decision to ignore the pundits, the polls, and politicians like Romney and rescue the auto industry, saving the one in every eight Ohio jobs that depend on it.

In 1999, when Delphi spun off from the General Motors, three unions representing some Delphi workers — the UAW, USW, and the IUE — secured an agreement with GM. GM would guarantee the pensions of these workers, should the newly independent Delphi run into trouble. No other Delphi employees, including both salaried workers and workers who were members of other unions, had a similar agreement.

By 2008, the entire auto industry, including GM and Delphi, was in trouble and the U.S. Treasury Department stepped in to help both GM and Delphi restructure.

The GM restructuring involved difficult choices and sacrifices from all stakeholders. GM investors and workers took tens of billions of dollars in losses in order to make the company viable. In the end, GM was able to honor its original commitment to Delphi and secure the pensions of the workers who were protected since the 1999 agreement. Workers who never had those protections, sadly, suffered a pension cut.

Despite Romney’s accusations, independent fact checkers and the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative agency, have reviewed the administration’s role in the auto rescue and found that the Delphi salaried pension plan was handled according to standard procedure and the law that applies to all corporate bankruptcies.

Romney’s opposition

The fact is that Mitt Romney opposed Obama’s auto rescue at the time and said we should “let Detroit go bankrupt” when the auto industry was on the brink of collapse. Now that the political winds have changed and Obama’s bet on American auto workers has saved countless jobs in Ohio and across the country, Romney is trying to cover his tracks. First he argued that the auto rescue was a failure. Then, he tried to take credit for it. Now, he’s trying to exploit Delphi workers who lost part of their pensions when GM and Delphi were restructured, for his own political gain. Shameful.

Romney’s recent attempts to use the plight of Delphi workers for his political advantage is troubling, but not surprising coming from a man with a history of staking his personal gain on the misfortune of middle class workers. After all, Romney made his fortune on the backs of the middle class by sending American jobs overseas, and destroying jobs here at home — all to maximize profits for himself and other wealthy shareholders when he as a corporate buyout specialist.

Mitt Romney knows that his record as an outsourcing pioneer who opposed the auto rescue, will turn Ohio voters off at the polls. It should come as no surprise that Romney is attempting to change the conversation.

But Ohio voters know better, we deserve better, and we will see through the distortions this November.

Doug Franklin, mayor of Warren, wrote this art the invitation of David Betras, chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party.


1InterestedInAll2(11 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Wow, talk about drinking the kool-aid! This "editorial" is filled with the propaganda that has been shoveled on this community for three years by those who simply want to hide what really happened. How does Mayor Franklin explain the bankruptcy court proceedings telling NEW GM that they were NOT obligated to those old contracts, or GM's own filing with the SEC stating that the top-up payments were "gratuitous in nature, not obligatory" or the GAO report that actually states that NEW GM was under no obligation to top-up the pensions of the unions? I wonder, did he actually read that report?? I'm guessing not as this is verbatim, copy-and-paste stuff from the Obama Administration's play book on the Delphi Salaried Retirees issues. Truth, indeed... The TRUTH is the President's Auto Task Force decided that the Delphi pension plans had to be terminated because they were in a hurry to get them out of the way. They deny that because it is unconstitutional for our government to make such decisions in a discriminatory manner like they did. All they had to do was to treat all the worker groups in an equitable manner and it would have all been legal, but they didn't and it isn't. Why are they fighting when no taxpayer provided funds are needed to pay the full pensions to the salaried retirees? Because they want their major political supporters to be treated better than anyone else even if it is illegal, immoral and unethical. Why would the mayor not want the salaried retirees to get what they earned in the same manner as the hourly folks did? Why would he spout such falsehoods when the truth is readily available? 1,500 people in the Mahoning Valley could get their jobs back if the salaried retirees' pensions were restored. Everybody not protected by a major labor union should be scared to death about this. If they can do this to the Delphi salaried retirees, they WILL do it to you too. The Obama Administration should never have allowed this to happen. They should fix it now before it gets worse!

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2Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Doug, at least you could have written your own letter. But to take something that Dave Betras concocted and put your name on it is utterly digusting! I challenge YOU to debate the FACTS of the GM/Delphi bankruptcy and screwing of the Delphi Salaried retirees in public with the thousands of retirees that were unjustly affected from YOUR OWN TOWN!

If you knew ANYTHING about the facts (which you don't), you would know that ALL contracts were null & void in bankruptcy. GM CHOSE to honor the obligations (which is good), and should have CHOSEN to honor their obligations to ALL!

And since you apparently also know nothing about standard bankruptcies, ALL parties are supposed to "share the sacrifice" to use Barack Obama's words. Instead, Barack Obama CHOSE to reward specific groups. That is NOT "standard procedure" as your buddy Dave Betras told you to say! Isn't it kind of ironic that just a couple of years ago, Dave Betras was a STAUNCH supportor of our cause, yet now when it comes down to politics, instead of RIGHT & WRONG, he "tries" to spin the TRUTH!

Btw, Doug, I wholeheatedly supported your run for mayor of Warren. I didn't think you had it in you to stoop to such LIES!

Two years ago, I wrote a letter in the Warren Tribune directly to Dave Betras, challenging him uphold Democratic Party VALUES, and told the public that we'll see if the Party values meant anything, or are they just words! YOU & Betras have just proven that the Democratic Party values mean NOTHING!!

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3Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Voters of the Mahoning Valley, the State of Ohio, & the nation should DEMAND that Barack Obama fixes the discrimination against the Delphi Salaried retirees, who have EQUAL protection under the Constitution to be be treated EQUAL to all other citizens.

Voters, OUT with OBAMA if this is not resolved before November. Join the fight to spread voter awareness of Obama's discrimination through our Facebook & Twitter sites! FIX THIS WRONG, OBAMA!!



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4Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Btw, Doug & Dave, Mitt Romney advocated a NORMAL bankruptcy for GM/Delphi, NOT an expedited government run farce that rewarded some using OUR tax dollars!! And since you don't understand normal bankruptcies, Doug, GM would not have collapsed. They would have been protected under bankruptcy, and emerged healthy with ALL being treated FAIRLY! Coming from your profession, you'd think you'd check out the FACTS of the case fellas!! Or are you used to prsenting hearsay evidence? Do you think that the voters of the Mahoning Valley are really that stupid to believe you?

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5classics(53 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

WOW, this is from the Mayor of Warren, where many of these retirees live and he is so ill informed?? Goes to show you that he has not read any of the articles, listened to any Hearing testimony, or in general, gives a rat's behind. More spreading the Dem party clap trap than the facts. Guess his sources, Mr. Betras and the Obama railroad are on the move spreading their propaganda.

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6classics(53 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Doug, Delphi is now a foreign company with most employment outside of the U.S..

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7Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

What job has Doug Franklin been promised? Maybe he looked at Jay Williams and thinks he can ride coat tails in the Democratic party too. Careful what you wish for, Doug...

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8walter_sobchak(2721 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Mitt Romney merely wanted GM to go thru a normal bankruptcy route where the secured and unsecured creitors use the law to work things out by reorganizing or liquidating a company according to the law. But, Barack Hussein Obama had to pay back the UAW for their support and the law got trampled on. This opinion piece is hilarious.

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9Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Interesting that Doug Franklin couldn't even get Betras' letter published in his OWN home town newspaper...

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10Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Voters - Remember that Dave Betras wholeheartedly fought for TWO YEARS to correct the injustice done to the Delphi retirees. And now, the facts suddenly change? So much for credibility!!

FIX this, Obama, or you are OUT!!!!

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11classics(53 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Does anyone really believe that Doug Franklin wrote this?

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12ConservativeDude(36 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Nice going Doug. I hope you did not plan for a second term as Mayor. Betrus has a way of getting people to fall on the sword. His big mouth gets him in trouble every time he opens it so now he had you do his dirty work.

What Betras did not tell you was, you represent all citizens in Warren, Ohio not just those who voted for you. You have learned to be a master politician in a short period of time.

You are following Obama's play book to the tee. You have chosen to pick winners and losers among ALL the people you represent. Shame on you Doug Franklin. I am so sorry I supported you. !

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13Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Voters - Don't forget when you go to the polls this November that it was Dave Betras who supported & worked hard to correct the Delphi retiree issue for more than TWO YEARS. And now he says the right thing was done?....HYPOCRITE!!! Just keep talking, Dave, and you'll surely seal the fate of discriminatory Obama in November. THANKS!

Join the fight to spread voter awareness of Obama's discrimination through our Facebook & Twitter sites! FIX THIS WRONG, OBAMA!!



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14ConservativeDude(36 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...." Thomas Jefferson.

It is happening right in front of our eyes and we need to do something about it. The government, Obama, is taking things away from us every day. He is taking our money through hidden taxes, increased entitlements to those who do not work and contribute nothing and closing coal plants with his regulations which is driving up our electricity. Betras and Franklin both buy into that nonsense.

The Democrats have been in charge of this valley for decades and look where we are. Now these two guys are trying to defend the Presidents policies. That fits the definition of insanity. Folks, we are the taxpayers and we need to change our luck.

Let's get these guys out of office and let them view things from our side. I will bet they would whine that they were being treated unfairly.

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15BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

And the real truth comes out about the Delphi retireess and who really screwed them over:


Unions Uber Alles!

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16DwightK(1537 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I hope the Delphi retirees get their pension back. They deserve it.

I just hope other people learn from this debacle that you can't depend on anyone to fund your retirement. Save a lot, invest now and get a professional to help you invest.

I bet there are a lot of Delphi retirees who wish they would have opened IRA's back in the 1980's with the good money they were making.

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