In front of a friendly crowd at a labor rally today, state Rep. and congressional candidate Raj Goyle blasted his Republican opponent, Mike Pompeo, on issues of jobs and outsourcing.
“You’ve got a real simple choice, you can vote for somebody that’s going to go to Congress and fight to repeal the tax breaks that reward companies for shipping your jobs overseas,” Goyle said, to raucous applause. “Or you can vote for somebody who created jobs in Mexico and beyond.”
As chief executive officer of Thayer Aerospace, Pompeo started a small factory in Mexicali. He has said the plant was a client requirement to win a contract that also created several dozen jobs in Kansas.
Goyle spoke to a crowd of about 300 at the rally, where union aircraft workers gathered in Old Town to show solidarity in tense negotiations with Cessna and Hawker-Beechcraft.
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Pompeo has been endorsed by several of the city’s most prominent aircraft company executives, including Cessna CEO Jack Pelton and Bill Boisture, CEO of Hawker Beechcraft.
Goyle highlighted his support for $27 million in state bond financing to help Bombardier Learjet build a new composite aircraft in Wichita, a move the state says will protect 300 jobs and add an additional 300 to the workforce.
Goyle said Pompeo opposes public-private partnerships “because he doesn’t want the government getting involved in the private sector. Well guess what? He took our taxpayer money to subsidize his own company.”
The Eagle reported in July that Thayer Aerospace and a plating company owned by Thayer applied for and received at least $85,000 in business development support from the Kansas Department of Commerce, while Pompeo was the company’s chief executive. Pompeo also was an investor in and served on the board of a Hutchinson wind-turbine company that benefited from a complex business development transaction involving $1.5 million in public money.
Pompeo has said he would rather have forgone government support and competed in a free market, but his responsibilities as a CEO forced him to seek the grants so his business would not be at a competitive disadvantage.
Goyle repeated one of his campaign’s primary themes, that as a state legislator, he accepted any meals, trips or gifts from lobbyists. “Or you can vote for somebody who stands with the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity and the Wall Street-backed shadowy groups that are trying to take your jobs,” Goyle said.