(Editor note: I received the following press release yesterday via my e-mail inbox. I was waiting until I could verify before posting. It is now verified, and I’m supplying three weblinks at the end of this post for your review.)
UAW, Schweizer Employees, Charge Kuhl with False Advertising; Officials and workers say misleading Kuhl ads falsely claim credit for Blackhawk jobs at Horseheads plant
Angry United Auto Workers representatives and employees from Schweizer Aircraft in Horseheads today charged Republican Congressman Randy Kuhl (NY-29) with claiming “jobs” credit he doesn’t deserve. Kuhl has an ad running on TV in the southeastern section of the 29th District, in which Kuhl touts his alleged achievements in bringing federal dollars into the district. In the ad, he also claims credit for bringing Blackhawk Helicopter jobs to the Schweizer facility.
UAW officials appeared in a press conference today in front of the Schweizer plant in Horseheads, and stated that it was a team approach by workers, union representatives, and Schweizer management that brought in the Blackhawk jobs and Kohl (sic) was not part of that process. UAW Local 1752 President Robert Huckle said that the effort began in 2002 with the formation of the joint process improvement program “Partners in Excellence”. The initiative involved “tremendous amounts of hard work, coordination, cooperation, and compromise from Union and Management, in order to make Schweizer Aircraft Corporation a world class manufacturing facility and the best place for the Blackhawk work to be produced. We worked long and hard to secure those jobs through process and efficiency improvements and for Randy Kuhl to claim credit for the resulting jobs amounts to false advertising.”
Workers at the press conference noted that since Kuhl is so clearly inflating his accomplishments in this area, it calls into question everything else he claims credit for in the ads. Like it said in the paper, in the [Elmira] Star Gazette: these ads are misleading. It’s pretty easy to announce a grant or an award and grab a headline. It takes a whole lot more to actually roll up your sleeves and make it happen in the first place.
Kuhl is locked in an intense battle for his seat in Congress against 24-year Navy veteran and Corning resident Eric Massa. The misleading ads rolled out last week as part of Kuhl’s campaign. Massa has been endorsed by a large number of unions, including the UAW.
Editor note: I was able to find this item from Congressman Kuhl’s website, dated 6/5/05:
…I also recently helped secure over $20 million to allow the Department of Homeland Security to purchase high-tech surveillance aircraft made by Schweizer Aircraft in Horseheads.
“If he wants to continue running misleading ads, than that’s what he should do. If he wants to be honest with the public then he won’t take credit for things he didn’t do,” said UAW International Union Representative, Scott Montani.
Kuhl, in a statement, said the union is misinterpreting his ads and his Blackhawk references were meant to show the district’s job growth.
“The management and employees of Schweizer Aircraft and Sikorsky deserve all of the credit for landing the big contracts that they have, and I’ve been more than happy to help where I can,” Kuhl said in the statement.
At present, I’ve not been able to source Mr. Kuhl’s statement on the issue. I’ll keep looking and will link when or if it becomes available for on-line review.