2,106 and counting: Job losses in the 11th since CAFTA

4,200 manufacturing jobs lost state-wide

Since North Carolina Congressman Charles Taylor (R-11) failed to vote against CAFTA last July 27, his district has suffered 2,106 announced job losses.

According to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, 505 jobs were lost from “import competition,” 313 from “relocation to Mexico,” 170 from “competition,” 175 from “declining demand,” and 155 from “financial difficulty.”

As well, North Carolina has lost 4,200 state-wide manufacturing jobs.

According to the Congressional Quarterly Daily (7/29/05), Taylor had permission from house leadership “to sit out the vote.” The measure passed by a thin two-vote margin, 217-215. Another congressperson, JoAnn Davis (R-VA) was given permission to skip the vote, giving Taylor the opportunity to change his mind the next day.

Less than two weeks before the vote Taylor told the Asheville Citizen Times:

I have voted against all of these trade pacts and will vote against CAFTA because although CAFTA isn’t as bad as NAFTA, it still, like all the trade pacts, fails to provide and monitor a system of symbiotic trade relations, i.e. guaranteed equal trade rather than just dumping goods, either legally or illegally, on our businesses in this country.

Taylor’s staff has issued several conflicting excuses for missing the 62-minute vote.

At 8:15 pm, Taylor voted to provide consideration of CAFTA. He also cast procedural votes at 8:06 pm and 7:56 pm.

From 11:00 pm until final passage at 12:03 am, Taylor was missing.

Many North Carolina Republicans had come out against the vote, including neighboring freshman Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-10)

"We have been feeling the pain in the last five to six years," McHenry said. "It's job loss after job loss. I know the way out is not through more trade agreements."

North Carolina lost 34,150 jobs from 1993-2004, due to a similar measure, NAFTA, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

North Carolina Representative Robin Hayes (NC-8) also failed to vote against CAFTA even though he told his constituents he would. From the News Observer:

"This is nothing but a cousin of NAFTA," said U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a Farmville Republican. "We have lost over 200,000 jobs in North Carolina alone -- in addition to 2.5 million jobs nationally -- since 1993. I sincerely believe that CAFTA will do nothing to help workers in America."

Taylor told several conflicting stories to explain his inability to vote against CAFTA:

  • That is voting card didn’t work (even though it worked for 11 other votes that day.)
  • His lack of vote was reported on CNN visually and verbally for over an hour.
  • He says he was watching the vote on CNN, but didn’t know his vote had not registered until the net day.
  • Aides and congressmen phone to tell him. He says he received no phone calls.
  • He says he voted with fellow Congressman Howard Cobel but Coble says he didn’t see Taylor insert his voting card.
  • Taylor says he voted late and had no time to realize his vote failed to register properly.

Ten people saw Coble vote early. If, as Taylor has said, he voted with Cobel, that would give Taylor plenty of time to receive calls and pages and see or hear on television that his vote didn’t register properly.

According to Asheville’s Mountain Express:

Taylor stated that he'd voted with Rep. Howard Coble (a Greensboro Republican). But Coble later stated that he never saw Taylor vote. "I never saw him insert the card," he told Joshua Michael Marshall, a Washington-based journalist who publishes Talking Points Memo, a widely read political blog. According to Marshall, Coble indicated electronic-voting system errors were rare to nonexistent, and that in his 21-year tenure in Congress, an error in the electronic-voting system had occurred "possibly once."

Davis’ excuses were also somewhat incredible. She said she was attending a Boy Scout event 72 miles south of Washington. The event was scheduled to conclude with plenty of time to return to vote. Also, the event ended up being cancelled due to weather, giving Davis more than enough time to get to the capital.

Partial bibliography

Taylor's CAFTA problem
The strange case of the congressman's missing vote

by Brian Sarzynski, Mountain Express
Aug 10, 2005 / vol 12 iss 2

Taylor’s holiday dinner brings questions about job losses
Adam Behsudi Asheville Citizen-Times
December 11, 2005 12:15 am

N.C. GOP not buying trade deal
Jul 25, 2005 12:30 AM

Reverberations from CAFTA vote are still being felt on Hill
By Josephine Hearn, The Hill
August 3, 2005

Anatomy of a vote: Part 1 How Blunt whipped CAFTA
By Patrick O'Connor The Hill
September 6, 2005


Some details

for your Charles Taylor phone call today.

Great stuff, Martha

You're really good at this. Thanks.

Will this be a subject

of one of your phone calls today?

This story has remained absurd since its first floundering moments. Taylor wanted to vote "no", but his leadership had already told him that CAFTA had to pass. So Taylor, having already abandoned any attempts to influence other Republicans to vote against it, waited until he was sure CAFTA passed before registering his moot vote.

Taylor is Tom Delay's bitch. He expects his constituents to shrug and give him a pass for sending our jobs to Mexico. Taylor wanted CAFTA to pass, and his utter lack of leadership coupled with his lame excuses are all the proof we need.

Thanks, Martha, for putting this story together again. We need to keep retelling the older stories. People forget.

I can't wait to hear how your phone call(s) went for the telethon!

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us