The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, often referred to as the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on November 15, represents the largest investment in American workers since the legislation of the New Deal of the 1930s. As Forbes magazine recently reported, infrastructure spending should invigorate and stabilize American manufacturing and create “a powerful multiplier effect of job creation, productivity improvements, reducing the cost of doing business and ultimately increasing GDP”.
While we can be proud of the jobs President Biden and Democratic majorities have brought to Pennsylvania, thanks in large part to the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, that progress is threatened by widening partisan division in Washington, D.C. Do making these threats is a cornerstone of Republican David McCormick’s candidacy for the US Senate.
In recent months, television airwaves across Pennsylvania have been swarmed with this millionaire’s bid for the Republican nomination. The ads started with kitsch Everyman profiles of McCormick having beers with the friends he left behind in Bloomsburg and evolved into extreme, disconnected ads that became raw meat for the Republican base.
Its most recent ads are aimed at President Biden and the policies that will rebuild this country, while claiming to believe in American workers and the industries that have supported American families for generations. McCormick cannot be both the partisan weapon the Republican Party appears to be courting and the advocate American workers need. Not only do the ideas conflict with each other, but McCormick’s work history shows us all — Republicans and Democrats alike — that he didn’t make decisions with the best interests of the American worker in mind.
Here at Erie, we take pride in our work. Erie workers built the trains that transport American goods and natural resources from coast to coast. They produced the mixers that pour concrete for bridges and highways, and they designed the logistics that move trucks and trains on the roads and rails that Erie helped build around the world. Erie is proud of the role this community has played in building this country and the role it will play in revitalizing it.
In my opinion, David McCormick does not know Erie and he does not represent Pennsylvania values.
McCormick has spent his career as a proponent of globalization — a process that too often sells American workers in exchange for corporate profits. It’s a story the people of Erie and communities like ours know all too well. McCormick served as CEO of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds and one of the largest private investors in China. He spoke out against the Buy American provisions and said local companies losing their business to international companies were simply “winners and losers” from the “necessity” of globalization.
As CEO of FreeMarkets, he cut jobs here in western Pennsylvania.
As undersecretary of the export administration under the Bush administration, he joked that his title should be “undersecretary of globalization.”
Now that McCormick has moved to Pennsylvania to run for the U.S. Senate, he sings a different tune. He uses the fortune he has made selling American workers to buy advertisements claiming he is “America First”. He wants images of him drinking light beer and standing in American factories to replace the outsourcing of American jobs and ties to China that truly exemplify the legacy of his corporate career.
Pennsylvanians can’t afford to fall in love with this false prophet of the American worker. There is too much at stake when we have so much on the table.
The fight for our workers is a fight we take very seriously here in Erie, and it’s a cause I’m proud to work for every day.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act is the greatest chance we’ve had in a very long time to create new opportunities for the people of Erie and for all of Pennsylvania. We can’t let power brokers waste it on us, whether they sit in boardrooms or the United States Senate.
McCormick prioritized corporate profits over the American worker. He sold Pennsylvania once before. It would be foolish to expect anything different from him as a United States Senator.
As Pennsylvanians, we need someone who will go to Washington and fight for American workers and American families. We need someone who will be our voice in the daily struggle to strengthen our communities and ensure our children have the future they deserve right here at home in Pennsylvania.
David McCormick’s track record proves he cannot be trusted with this task.
Jim Wertz is chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party, a former member of the National Association of Broadcasting Employees and Technicians, and a current member and national delegate of APSCUF, which represents teachers and coaches in the State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania.