Randy Johnson, a former employee of American Pad and Paper, is here in Tampa. The Republican Party is preparing to nominate for President the man who destroyed his livelihood, the company he worked for, and his community. Randy is ready to speak out.
"I saw firsthand how Romney and his economics worked, how they hurt families, workers, and the communities we live in," says Johnson. "When you live that and you see that, you will never forget it."
Johnson was working at an office supply plant in Marion, Indiana, when it was acquired by Romney's corporate buyout firm. What happened next is something Johnson and the community will never forget: "When Romney and his partners took over our plant, they brought in security guards, they walked us out of the building. We had no warning whatsoever. We didn't have a chance to get our affairs in order. That's the way our life changed immediately on July 5, 1994, and it was changed forever."
The company agreed to re-hire a few people but steeply reduced their wages and benefits. They no long had a retirement plan, and after a year, the once profitable plant was shuttered for good. "Your future was gone," says Johnson. "People were going to lose their homes because they couldn't afford to make the payments. That's the real Romney Economics."
Johnson and his co-workers reached out to Romney directly. "We asked Romney for help and his involvement," says Johnson, "but he has never helped. He has never done anything for the average worker."
American Pad and Paper eventually went bankrupt, but Romney and his partners made $100 million.
Johnson's story isn't an anomaly. In his two decades in the private sector, Romney made a fortune loading companies up with debt and laying off workers—and this is the experience Romney believes qualifies him for the presidency. Johnson sees it differently: "What kind of person says he likes firing people? I don't care what context it is, it's wrong. It's morally wrong. And I don't see how we can let anyone like that even get close to the White House and bring his policies and economic philosophy to it. It would be wrong for the country."