In the wake of news that Oracle plans to use the Gianforte Plan to outsource Bozeman tech jobs to Texas to save money, the gubernatorial candidate tried to distance himself from the news that as many as one hundred employees will be terminated. He told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that he’s just not involved:
Asked if he was surprised by Oracle’s decision to send an unknown, but significant number of jobs to Texas, Gianforte said, “I finished up my relationship with Oracle in 2013.”
Gianforte is a partner in the corporation that owns Oracle’s office buildings in south Bozeman.
“That doesn’t mean they discuss operations with me,” the Republican candidate said.
That’s an interesting position to take, given that Gianforte got extensive media coverage in December, including headlines that he helped secure jobs in Bozeman, when he showed up to a construction facility to announce that Oracle was adding jobs in Bozeman. KBZK even characterized the decision to bring jobs to Bozeman as a partnership between Gianforte and Oracle.
Hell, he even had the person who became one of his campaign spokesmen issue a correction after the event because he had misstated the number of jobs that could be added in the Bozeman facility.
This, of course, illustrates the fundamental scam of the Gianforte campaign. He claims that Montana is hostile to high-tech business, even though Oracle decided to add those jobs while Governor Bullock was leading the state. He runs ads about successful entrepreneurs who have been able to develop tech startups in the state during the past twelve years of Democratic leadership and pretend that his leadership will somehow do better, without a plan to make that happen, ignoring that tech companies will likely flee a state imposing the kind of discriminatory laws Gianforte certainly supports and even lying about tech giants like Facebook.
The story also notes that Mr. Gianforte has offered to help people who’ve lost their jobs find new ones, as the company he has no relationship with turned over a list of recently terminated employees. While I’m not part of the world of corporate employment and head hunting for jobs, it’s surprising to learn that a company that has “finished its relationship” with someone would turn over a list of recently terminated employees to him.
Given that a number of those losing their jobs are attorneys, perhaps Mr. Gianforte could make a more genuine offer of assistance and quit outsourcing his legal work to an Indiana firm. Perhaps some could work on the web site he also outsources out of state.
The idea that Gianforte will help those affected is some excellent PR, but certainly not of any substance until real jobs appear. Gianforte has a penchant for overstating his impact. While he touts the “thousands” of Montana students who used his Code Montana program, for instance, in the academic year of 2014-15, just 24 students completed the program through MT Tech. Other programs he touts have similar rates of excessive self-promotion and disappointing results.
Gianforte can’t have it both ways: he can’t be the person who announces Oracle jobs in Montana as if he deserves credit for it and then act like he has no relationship with the company when it moves jobs away.