October 31, 2014

Freedom Path’s “Outsourcing” Attack on Liljenquist Distorts Business Record

The latest mailer from Freedom Path falsifies Dan Liljenquist‘s business record. The shadowy group, organized legally as a political action committee, is running fast and loose with terms and smears Liljenquist with shoddy research, obscure sources, and false information. Frankly, it’s just dishonest.

Last week, I looked at the “Two Scoops” mailer sent out by the Freedom Path PAC (it’s also been called the “Double Dip” mailer). In that post, I found that the mailer was dishonest on all relevant facts, including flipping Dan Liljenquist and Chris Herrod’s record completely backward. Instead of noting that Liljenquist had passed groundbreaking pension reforms that made Utah a model for the nation, and that Herrod had supported and voted for those reforms, the mailer made it sound like Liljenquist and Herrod had tried to soften the reform.

Please check the post for the details, and please share it with those who may have received the mailers.

Today, we’re looking another mailer that attacks Liljenquist specifically. We could call it the “Outsourcing” mailer since it accuses Liljenquist of sending jobs to the Philippines at a time when the economy was at its lowest.

I found the mailer to be dishonest and to use several terms incorrectly.

Claims:

  1. Did Liljenquist “outsource” jobs overseas? Answer: No.The first claim the mailer makes is that Liljenquist is outsourcing American jobs. According to Wikipedia, “outsourcing” is the process of “contracting a business function to someone else.” For example, when I decide I don’t want to hire an in-house lawyer because the cost is too high, I call up Brown Law  and contract a lawyer to do the work. It costs me less because I don’t need to support the attorney on my payroll once the job is done, and it gets me a person who can do the job right. Businesses do this for printing (Kinkos, anyone?), deliveries (FedEx), data and office software (Google apps), and food (catering from any number of restaurants), just to name a few.  It’s a very common practice.  It saves company money, does not cut jobs from the economy, and allows specialized companies to provide services at a higher level of quality.In fact, Dan Liljenquist’s former business–Focus Services–was an outsourcing company. It was the company that other companies called when they wanted to hire call center to receive calls from customers. It saved American companies money and provided jobs here in Utah, as well as in other states. It was, and is, a successful company, by all reports, and is one of the top 100 privately held companies in America.

  2. Did Liljenquist’s company conduct “offshoring?  Answer: Not really.Wikipedia also  notes that “outsourcing” is often confused with “off-shoring,”  “though a function may be outsourced without offshoring or vice versa.” The “outsourcing mailer” seems to indicate that Liljenquist sent jobs abroad.  I tried to check the sources cited by Freedom Path. The sources were so obscure as to be  impossible to find online, if they exist at all.  One quote they use in the mailer is taken so completely out of context as to mean something different than what it was used for in the article.

    So I called Liljenquist’s campaign to ask.

    “Does Dan Liljenquist’s companyoutsource or offshore jobs to the Philippines,” I asked.“No,” came the answer when I spoke with a top campaign official.

    While Focus Services does employ people abroad–specifically in the Philippines, they are not a replacement for positions here in the US. Rather, they are in addition to them. Because Focus Services is an international company and has international clients, the company needs to have call centers that can answer calls twenty-four hours a day. Got a client that has customer calling during day light hours in North America? They route to the North American call centers in Roy and Ogden, Utah, or  Dubuque or Clinton, Iowa. One of Focus Services 1,300 employees answers the phone. But if the client has customers in India? Or Japan? Saudi Arabia? Moscow? With days that start long before the sun comes up over the east coast of North America, the company needed someone to answer the calls of customers not in sync with North America. To that end, the company hired an additional  two hundred employees in the Philippines.

    Let me be clear: this is not outsourcing because Focus Services is not hiring an outside company to do what it could do itself. Nor is it off-shoring because it is not sending jobs abroad–Focus Services did not decrease the jobs when hiring in the Philippines, but rather expanded to compensate for the needs of international customers.

Should we be attacking a successful businessman for being a successful businessman?

At this point, I can’t help but ask: do we really want to support the message that a businessman should be limited from growing his company if it benefits people who don’t live in the United States? Are we so narrow and shortsighted that we cannot see that an American company that serves customers internationally is going to create more wealth and jobs  in the United States, as well?

I’m not the only one asking the question. Check this from a letter from Alan Mortensen of Bountiful that he wrote to the Standard-Examiner:

Focus Services ranks 23 on the top 100 private companies in Utah by the Utah Business Magazine. I have had the opportunity to visit Focus Services’ international headquarters in Roy, Utah, where Focus provides jobs to hundreds of Utahns, and encourages them to better themselves through education and community service.

I have been to Dan’s facility in Rock Falls, Illinois and met with several of the families his company employees in a town whose steel industry long ago disappeared. They are proud to work for Focus. I have met his manager in the Dubuque, Iowa, facility, who fought back tears because his family had health insurance through Focus when his wife gave birth to a premature baby.

Dan Liljenquist’s company gives hope to many Utah and American families, and his company has made the ultimate sacrifice when four Focus Service employees, all U.S. citizens, were killed in a business-sponsored service trip to Guatemala to build a school for the poor. Dan Liljenquist survived that crash with horrible orthopedic injuries, and yet he continues to give hope to those American families who lost their loved ones. Attacking Dan for having an international company is akin to attacking the Utah based LDS Church for being an international church with a presence in the Philippines.

Powerful stuff.

Conclusion: Freedom Path is lying…again.

If it’s not clear from what I’ve already said, let me say it again: the “outsourcing” mailer is flat-out lying that Liljenquist is outsourcing or off-shoring American jobs.

Enhanced by Zemanta