Posted by: Ann Corcoran | October 19, 2010

Now Poffenberger claims Parrott is sending jobs to Mexico

…..can you believe it! 

I told a good friend today that I couldn’t wait for the mail to arrive, that I would dash right down to the mailbox to see what new campaign flyer I would have waiting for me from DEMOCRAT Brien Poffenberger who is running for the District 2b Maryland House of Delegates seat.  Full disclosure:  I live in 2b and support Republican and Hagerstown Tea Party founder Neil Parrott.  New readers please visit “Poffenberger the Progressive, Part I” to catch up on all the fun!

Today I was not disappointed—we have another flyer—and that evil villain and job destroyer Neil Parrott was at it again!  This time he is sending jobs to Mexico.  Poffenberger says Parrott supports policies that have sent 650 tannery worker jobs to Mexico.  Oh no!  And, I know it’s true because there is a picture of the closed plant and Neil Parrott’s face right in front of the barbed wire fence (Poffenberger likes barbed wire in his flyers—we noticed that in the one where Poffenberger says he is going to be tough on Mexicans who are stealing our jobs.)

Here is Poffenberger’s latest:

We’re sick of losing jobs to foreign countries. [Since this is the third message we’ve received from Poffenberger on the subject, I think we get that now—ed.]  When Garden State Tannery closed down, over 650 poeple in our community saw their jobs shipped to Mexico.  But Neil Parrott just doesn’t get it.

Garden State Tannery?  Garden State Tannery?  I had a vague recollection, not a very positive one about Garden State Tannery.  What was it?  Oh, yes, now I remember thanks to the archives at the Herald Mail.  Brien Poffenberger might not remember because he was probably working out of state at the time. 

The plant, by the way, used to be called Byron Tanning and was located here in 1832 to take advantage of the oak trees to produce tanic acid needed in the chemical processing of the cowhide.  William Byron purchased 100 acres near the Potomac River. Any relation I wonder to the family of our former DEMOCRAT Congresswoman? 

Environmental Problems

The problems for Garden State Tannery, later called just GST, began in the late 1990’s when it was learned that the plant was allegedly dumping pollutants into the creek and ultimately the Potomac River. 

MD Public Interest Research Group (MaryPIRG is a DEMOCRAT environmental activist group) got on their case big time and over the next few years battles ensued that resulted in the plant paying large fines to the MD Dept. of the Environment and to the US Environmental Protection Agency.   Gosh, that would have been Governor Parris Glendening’s DEMOCRATIC Administration and his Dept. of the Environment doing the fining.

This is what MaryPIRG said in 1998:

WILLIAMSPORT – Garden State Tanning legally dumps more toxic chemicals directly into the Potomac River than any other company in Maryland, a state environmental watchdog group alleged Thursday.

Here is one of several stories on the plant that used 750,000 gallons of water a day:

WILLIAMSPORT – Garden State Tanning has paid a $36,750 fine to the Maryland Department of Environment, closing the case on alleged illegal dumping into the Potomac River and Conococheague Creek. 

The company was cited last year by both MDE and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

 The agencies alleged that the Williamsport tannery violated the Clean Water Act and exceeded permitted limits for fecal coliform bacteria, ammonia and chlorine in its waste water. 

In April, Garden State averted a court battle with the EPA and agreed to pay a $54,900 fine.

After the environmental shoe dropped along came the Unions

Before I get to the Unions, I should mention the plant got all sorts of awards from Toyota and other foreign auto makers who were the major clientele for the wonderful leather car seats GST made for the foreign car market.

Here is just one story on the fabulous leather seats used by the wealthiest folks in Japan and Europe and made right here in Washington County along the banks of the Potomac River:

The local plant ships 1.4 million pieces of leather per month to Japan for use by that country’s major automakers, said Joseph Cooley, vice president of sales and marketing for Garden State Inc.

Cooley said the local company has annual sales of $180 million and is Toyota’s largest single exporter for leather used in car seats. Seventy percent to 72 percent of the firm’s products are exported to Japan and Europe, he said.

All was not rosy for GST because before long the Union at the plant went on strike and the plant went through a bunch of years of stress and strife as workers often picketed the plant and placed all sorts of demands on management.  I got lazy and didn’t want to read all about the Union charges and management countercharges, you can sort through it yourself if you are interested.  This will give you a little taste of what was going on in Williamsport.

The Herald Mail again:

 A Washington County automotive leather manufacturer has filed for a temporary restraining order and an injunction against the union that represents more than 750 of its local workers.

Garden State Tannery filed for the injunction and restraining order Monday afternoon in Washington County Circuit Court against the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees; its international representative, Robert Hinkle; and its local president, Bobby Colvin.

The company alleges that beginning Sunday, union members have barred access to Garden State’s three Washington County facilities and harassed employees and customers attempting to get in, according to court documents.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I have the distinct impression that Unions are usually made up of DEMOCRATS (or at least their leaders are). 

To make a long story short, the plant moved to Mexico.  Do you blame them?  Washington County workers were making $24 an hour and we are told the Mexican workers were making 84 cents.  All I can say is no wonder the Mexicans are trying to get here—to join a Union and vote for Democrats!

Not once in this long tale did I see one mention of Republicans or that evil job outsourcer Neil Parrott!   Indeed this is a classic case of Democrats and Democratic policies sending jobs out of Maryland!

Epilogue:   The company is now a foreign-owned company, here.   The Williamsport mayor says historic tourism is making up for that polluting plant, well he didn’t exactly say that, but that’s how I read it.  And, this story (that, I apologize, got way too long), is a lesson to Democrat politicians to stop the lying c***!


  1. […] October 19th, evening:  Poffenberger says Parrott sending jobs to Mexico, here.   You gotta […]

  2. […] debunked this whole Tannery story here the other day.   Garden State Tannery left Washington County because it had run-ins with the […]

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