A MN Republican Candidate in Hillary’s Clothing?

Photo Credit: CGI America 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — In less than a week, republican voters in the Second Congressional District will be casting their votes for one of four candidates who will challenge the endorsed democratic challenger Angie Craig.

Jason Lewis is the endorsed republican candidate, John Howe received the endorsement of the Star Tribune Editorial Board, and Darlene Miller has received the endorsement of Rep. John Kline.

Miller’s past has raised questions from activists and the State Party. A look into Miller’s current and past activities raises some interesting questions.

Miller’s choice as President of Permac to outsource jobs to China is seen as an anti-republican measure. Republicans have often touted that businesses need to bring jobs back from overseas. A major talking point for Republican nominee Donald Trump has been to bring back jobs from China.

The Pioneer Press quoted Miller in 2004 asking “How do you compete with 47 cents an hour?” when talking about outsourcing labor cost for her company PERMAC. A Star Tribune report from 2006 shows that Miller was one of the first to outsource to China stating “That’s a great idea, let’s work together on this.”

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the United States has lost 3.2 million jobs between 2001 and 2013, to China alone.

Miller was also a part of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Miller receives high praise from the White House for her previous experiences in the business world. Members of this coalition also include GE’s Jeffrey Immelt who is the Chair, Xerox CEO Ursula M. Burns, and La Opinion CEO Monica Lozano, amongst others.

The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness was started by President Obama in 2011 as a way to get outside knowledge on how to kick start the market and lower the unemployment rate.

The New York Times reports that the council was ineffective as it met only four times in its two year existence and quotes then White House Press Secretary Jay Carney that “the president didn’t agree with all of its recommendations.”

Sept. 7, 2011 - Source: Pool/Getty Images North America
Sept. 7, 2011 – Source: Pool/Getty Images North America

The council was shut down by the White House in 2013 while the unemployment rate was at 7.9%.

Miller was also a personal guest of First Lady Michelle Obama during the President’s speech to Congress about job creation in 2011.

Opposition research compiled by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Research Department (DCCC) also places Miller at the Clinton Global Initiative Panel in June of 2012. The research concludes that the event “is focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States.”

Republicans have long questioned the foundation and the Clintons with GOP HQ referring to the lastest Foundation Convention and the Clintons as “corrupt.” Any public association with either the Obama administration or Clintons in any form has republicans asking questions. 

MNDFL Chair Ken Martin felt the need to call out Darlene Miller on accepting stimulus funds on two occasions. Once from the Obama Administration and once from the Bush Administration. The DCCC points to a 2008 press release from the Bush White House stating that Permac would be receiving federal funds. The DCCC also points to a 2010 article from WCCO that provides evidence to Permac’s involvement with the Obama stimulus fund. Miller herself is seen on camera talking about how receiving the stimulus fund has helped her in making new purchases, including a robot that would be named after President Bush.

There is also a group called Democrats for Darlene that has a very small following but seems to be active, even putting out an ad signifying why she should be a democratic choice. The video states that they believe Miller would be democrat friendly due to her past association with DFL leaders.

Video Credit: MN02RawFootage

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Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.