Saturday, May 22, 2004

Know Bush Fact #25

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

On April 24, 2003, while promoting his tax plan, Bush stopped in Canton, Ohio at the Timken Company, a Fortune 500 company, with 2003 sales of $3.8 billion, to speak before the workers at its steel ball-bearing manufacturing plant:

"The greatest strength of the American economy is found right here, right in this room, found in the pride and skill of the American work force. . . Here at Timken, last year, productivity rose 10 percent. Which means that America can compete with any nation in the world because we got the finest workers in the world."

On May 17, 2004, century-old Timken Company announced it was closing the doors to three of its ball-bearing plants in Canton, laying off 1,300 employees.

Timken President James W. Griffith tried to blame the closure on the United Steel Workers of America, but union President Stan Jasionowski said the USWA and Timken were not in any kind of contract negotiations. The union was blindsided by Timken's decision.

Timken’s ball-bearing production will be moved. It is timely that two new Timken NSK ball-bearing plants in China began production in January, and the Randleman, North Carolina plant failed to unionize in February.

W.R. "Tim" Timken, Chairman of the Board of Timken Company, whose decision it was to close the plants, earned more than $2.6 million last year, and stands to receive $59,000 in new tax breaks from Bush this year.

By contrast, 89% of Ohio residents will receive less than $100 by 2006 from the latest Bush tax cuts.

Last summer, Timken co-hosted a fundraiser for Bush's campaign which raised $600,000, and earned Timken "Ranger" status in Bush’s multi-level marketing donation pyramid structure.

W.R. Timken was signed in as the Bush-appointed Chairman of the Board of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation on April 22, 2003 (2 days before Bush’s speech at his plant), and is also a long-time Director of Diebold, Inc., manufacturer of the highly controversial electronic voting machines.

A final note: In December 2003, Mr. Timken hosted a $2,000-per-person fundraiser, where he spoke before featured guest Vice President Dick Cheney and an audience of Ohio's wealthiest business and civic leaders. Timken denounced liberal philanthropist Peter Lewis’s multi-million dollar pledge to partially match donations to’s voter fund campaign as an "attempt to buy democracy."

Meanwhile, the Gannett News Service reported that the Cincinnati, Ohio zip code 45243 ranks second only to New York City's 10021 as the most lucrative fundraising neighborhood for Bush, surpassing wealthy communities in Houston, Dallas and even Beverly Hills.

To verify/research, Google: "Bush +Timken."

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