Last week, we posted this entry about lobbying reform, fiercely defending the integrity of our Congressional staff tours. Indeed they are sanctioned in writing by the Senate and House ethics Committees. We received a few comments from interested folks — some pro, some con — but found this one from small manufacturer and NAM Board Member Sandra Westlund-Deenihan of Chicago articulate, poignant and just dead on. And so it is with her permission that we reprint it in full here:
Last year our company,Quality Float Works, Inc. participated in the Chicagoland Congressional Staff Tour. It was a valuable experience for our company as well as the staffers.
Many of these staffers who are advising their bosses had never been in a manufacturing facility. They heard first hand issues that effected our employees. We discussed health care, the death tax, OSHA related issues, R.& D. credits and our difficulty in finding skilled laborers. Other invited business leaders addressed asbestos issues and the rising cost of energy and how that effects their bottom line.
We took the staffers out to the factory floor to see how we manufactured our metal float balls. They actually touched and felt something that is used in many everyday applications and made in the U.S.A.
These tours are needed. We’ve got to keep the dialogues going between the voters and the people who represent them.
We have maintained relationships with these staffers.This has opened up communications with Congresswoman Bean, Senator Obama, and Senator Durbin.
I thank you for standing up for the importance of these educational experiences.
To Sandy, we say “Thank you” for everything she is doing to stay competitive in a very tough environment and for doing her part to carry the message of manufacturing to her home state representatives. You can see why it’s so easy for us to stand up for manufacturers like these. They are the best in the world.
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