Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Union film spanks Obama pal Penny Pritzker

A forgotten member of President Obama's Chicago mafia is Penny Pritzker, a scion of the family that owns Hyatt Hotels. Until early 2008 it also controlled the Union Tank Car Company. Pritzker served as national finance chair for Barack Obama's presidential campaign and was co-chair of the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The Pritzker family is worth billions.

Currently Penny is a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

And she is the "star" of "Show Us The Tax Breaks," Economic Recovery the Pritzker Way," which makes its debut Thursday night at 6pm at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters headquarters in Washington. Richard L. Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, will be in attendance and presumably take part in the discussion that will follow the screening.

If you can't make it to Washington, you can watch the film here.

The film charges that the Pritzkers extracted tax breaks from East Chicago, Indiana and Alexandria, Louisiana for Union Tank Car. But shortly after the sold their interest in the firm's parent company to Warren Buffet's Berskhire Hathaway group, the Indiana plant closed, and because of layoffs at the non-union Louisiana facility, it employs less than half of the employees than what the firm promised government officials.

As for the shuttered Indiana factory, more than 500 jobs were lost.

The film makes the claim that the Pritzer's Hyatt chain has received over $1.5 billion in tax breaks.

Where's my tax break?

Union tank car makes rail cars that store all kinds of liquids, including oil, corn syrup, and regrigerants.

As for Penny's role for the Obama campaign, the film replays a late 2008 CNN news clip where she explains why she joined up.

You know This country has been extraordinary to my family. My family came here as immigrants over 100 years ago. And because of the opportunity available to my family in this country, we've been able to have success. And so to me, it was significant to say "Yes" to help Barack, but it felt very natural and very good.
What is not natural to me is that someone who served as a chairwoman of a bank that later failed--as Priztker did--could be named to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Why did the bank fail? Too many sub-prime loans.

As for the Pritzkers, at the end of the engaging film, the narrator declares, "They made a fortune at taxpayer expense."

One finaly bit of hypocrisy. For a short while, Pritzker was considered as a possible Commerce secretary, when the bank failure became an issue, she withdrew her name from consideration.

Speculation has grown that I am a candidate for Secretary of Commerce. I am not. I think I can best serve our nation in my current capacity: building businesses, creating jobs and working to strengthen our economy. It has been my great privilege to serve in the Obama campaign. I look forward to helping our new president in every way possible and am excited about the future under his leadership.
Building businesses? Creating jobs?

Penny, there are some former Union Tank Car workers who would like to speak with you.

Technorati tags:

No comments: