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Jan a "No Show" - But the Show Goes On

Congresswomen has a "scheduling conflict" - and the evil truth about Bright Horizons.

Yesterday, my blog challenged Congresswoman Schakowsky to eschew the theatrics of marching on the Bain Capital outpost in Evanston to protest the closing of a Freeport business, and instead focus on the issues that may have led the company to decide that doing business in Illinois is no longer possible. (See ). Well, Jan didn't show. Instead sending a spokesman named "Alex" to read a statement from Jan describing how awful it is when people lose their jobs (see picture)

Alex explained that Jan had a "scheduling conflict". It must have happened rather suddenly - I called Jan's office two hours before the scheduled "protest" and the office confirmed she would be there at 5:30. Hopefully, Schakowsky was heeding my advice and had scheduled a meeting with Sensata officials to learn whether the Illinois business climate had anything to do with the company leaving Illinois.

I did show up at 5:30. There was a crowd of 20 people bused in to support the protest. One protestor told me they were assembled by a group that mobilizes church memebers to support workers' rights. Three female workers from the Freeport facility did show up carrying a stack of signatures downloaded from the Internet supporting keeping the Freeport facility open. (see picture).

In an impromptu news conference in front of the Chase building - where the petitions were unceremoniously left with building security officers - the three Sensata employees answered questions about what it felt like to lose a job. 

I interrupted: "What reason have you been given about why they are closing the plant".

"Well, that materials cost less in China, and it costs less to make things in China, including labor", said one of the three women. "Imagine, it takes 10 Chinese workers to run a machine that only takes one American to run".

"What about the Reuters report that the plant's most promising customer base was in China?" I asked.

The woman answered: "Well, yes. We've heard that, too. It is possible".

I wanted to pursue this line of questioning further - it is the line of questioning I proposed that Schakowsky should be asking to learn more about fixing the Illinois economy. I wasn't given the opportunity to follow-up, though. A young man who seemed to be an organizer of the protest steered the women back to their lower-chakra script. He shouted out: "Go back to telling them what it is like to lose your jobs. What does it mean to you?" A woman took the cue: "Well, my son is in the Army and I want him to have a good job in Freeport when he comes home."

I hope Schakowsky had more success in her meeting with Sensata.

I did see Tim Wolfe at the protest. He is running against Schakowsky for her seat in Congress. (see picture).

An irony. To the left of Tim in the picture you will see the words "Bright Horizon". Bright Horizon is a national chain of child care centers that will be opening a facility on Orrington this fall, according to their website.

So, now guess who owns Bright Horizons? Bain Capital. Is there no end of the evil of Romney? Will Schakowsky protest the opening of Bright Horizons? Will Alex show up and read a statement?

Will you send your child to Bright horizons?

So many questions, so little time.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jerry Cichon August 23, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Eric, Thanks for your common sense questions in asking JS and the organizers/protestors about the situation. Reminds me of the levelheaded approach of Andrew Breitbart. Keep up the good work!
chris August 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Maybe all political office terms should be limited to one six year term? That way we're not constantly bogged down in campaigning and the need for money is reduced eliminating the payoffs, patronage and graft that seems to be endemic in our government.
Guido McGinty August 23, 2012 at 01:26 PM
"the need for money is reduced eliminating the payoffs, patronage and graft that seems to be endemic in our government." Control, theft, payoffs, patronage and graft are the only reasons for the State to exist. Those things are not endemic, they are the essence of the State. The idea that anything can be solved through such critters should be preposterous to anyone with a pulse.
Deadcatbounce August 24, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Thanks for the column. I've been trying myself to find out why the plant is closing. Didn't make sense, except the plant is located in Illinois. Customer base in china makes sense. Also, I read somewhere that the plant's work force had been shrinking for years and former owner (honeywell) was thinking of closing completely before Bain took it over.

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