By BRIAN SLODYSKO,
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- An
Indiana senator who is a longtime critic of outsourcing jobs to foreign
countries says he’s finalizing his sale of stock in a family arts and crafts
business that operates a factory in Mexico.
Sen. Joe Donnelly, considered one of the
most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in a deep red state next year,
vowed on July 14 to sell stock worth as much as $50,000 in the Stewart
Superior Corp. The promise came after The Associated Press first reported
that the company, which is operated by Donnelly’s brother and has been in
his family for generations, benefits from the same trade practices Donnelly
has blasted throughout his political career.
The Donnelly campaign said in an email
Monday night that the senator signed over his stock in the company on Aug.
11 for $17,410 and plans to donate the proceeds to 10 different charities
“Joe will donate
the amount paid in the sale of the stock to ten foodbanks across Indiana and
is grateful for their continued work to serve Hoosiers in need, and is eager
to continue to work across the aisle to stand up for Hoosier jobs and build
support for the End Outsourcing Act,” campaign manager Peter Hanscom said in
a statement to the AP.
Donnelly has yet to file a mandatory
financial disclosure documenting the sale, which Senate ethics rules require
him to file within 30 days of receiving notification of the transaction. His
campaign says that he is still waiting to receive payment.
Donnelly has long criticized free-trade
policies for killing American jobs. He accused Carrier, an air conditioner
and furnace maker, and its parent company of exploiting $3-an-hour workers
when it announced plans to wind down operations in Indiana and move to
However, Stewart Superior continues to
capitalize on some of the same trade policies and low-paid foreign labor,
operating a factory in the state of Jalisco through a Mexican subsidiary
company, Diverstech Color de Mexico.
Since at least 2012, Stewart Superior and
its subsidiaries have been shipping thousands of pounds of raw materials to
the Mexican factory, where it produces ink pads and other supplies,
according to customs records from Panjiva Inc., which tracks American
imports and exports. The finished products are then transported back to a
company facility in California, the records show.
Since the AP’s first report, Stewart
Superior has removed sections from its website mentioning the Mexican
operation. But the company initially touted the factory, stating that it
“brings economical, cost competitive manufacturing and product development
to our valued customers.”
The issue has the potential to haunt
Donnelly during the coming campaign. Already the National Republican Senate
Committee hired a mariachi band, which performed outside Donnelly’s formal
campaign kickoff event this month.