Marty Seifert on Medtronic: Young people living in parents' basement because of Mark Dayton
Dayton on Medtronic: "That is tremendous news for Minnesota." Seifert: "This is a sad day."
Former Republican House Minority Leader and failed 2010 gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert didn't win his party's endorsement to run for governor this year, but he, along with two other candidates, plans to battle the endorsed candidate, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, in a primary.
So when news broke yesterday that Minnesota-based Medtronic is buying Ireland-based Covidien for $42.9 billion and moving its headquarters to Dublin to create the world's largest medical device company, Seifert understandably saw a golden opportunity to score some political points.
Seifert released a statement blaming "the job-killing policies of Mark Dayton and Barack Obama" for Medtronic's relocation -- this despite the fact company officials say the move is mainly about gaining access to European markets and won't significantly lower its taxes.
Furthermore, Medtronic officials say they plan to keep the company's "operational headquarters" in Minnesota and actually create 1,000 new medical technology-related jobs in the state over the next half decade. Doesn't sound like terrible news, right?
But why let those details get in the way of a golden opportunity to rip on your political opponent, especially when you can try to blame him for the fact that some young Minnesotans don't have the means to get out of their parents' house in the process?
Here's the entirety of Seifert's statement:
Because of the failed policies of Mark Dayton and Barack Obama's destructive medical device tax, companies like Medtronic are forced to look outside of Minnesota to continue doing business. This is a sad day for our state's economy and its workforce. Rather than inventing things in their parent's garage, like the founders of Medtronic did, our young people are now more likely to live in their parent's garage than become innovators.
[Editorial note -- "Parents'" would've made more grammatical sense than "Parent's," but we digress...]
As I travel the state campaigning to bring new leadership to Minnesota's highest office, I meet entrepreneurs and business leaders who are worried about the future of our state's economy under the job killing policies of Mark Dayton and Barack Obama.
Here, on the other hand, is what Dayton had to say about the merger, which accords much better with what Medtronic officials themselves are saying:
Medtronic's Chairman and CEO, Mr. Omar Ishrak, informed me last night of his company's plans to acquire an Irish company. As Governor of Minnesota, my primary concerns were this merger's effects on the Minnesotans currently working at Medtronic, and its implications for the company's continued growth here.
During my conversation with Mr. Ishrak and in further discussions today between senior State and Medtronic officials, we were assured that the company intends to keep its operational headquarters here in Minnesota and that no jobs will be lost here due to this transaction. Company officials also told us that Medtronic intends to create over 1,000 new medical technology-related jobs in Minnesota during the next five years, in corporate management, research and development, engineering, and manufacturing. That is tremendous news for Minnesota and evidences the company's continued commitment to our state.
Medtronic was founded here 65 years ago by two visionary Minnesotans. They and thousands of dedicated Minnesota employees have built the enterprise into a global leader in medical technology, which has also been an exemplary corporate citizen in our state. I am greatly reassured by Medtronic's assurances that their commitments to their Minnesota headquarters and their Minnesota employees will continue to grow in the years ahead.
Of course, as we've had occasion to say once already today, emotional appeals are often more successful than rational ones when it comes to the art of politics -- so long as you're operating with the assumption the people you're appealing to won't think too hard about it, at least.
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