Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Sher Valenzuela, First State Manufacturing, received millions in government business loans
August 27, 2012 8:20 PM   Subscribe

Small business owner and candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Delaware Sher Valenzuela is slated to speak at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday as part of a platform meant to suggest business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government. The problem is that Valenzuela received millions of dollars in taxpayer funds as business loans from the US government, along with other government assistance. One Reddit user noticed the url for the full name of Valenzuela's First State Manufacturing business was unregistered, and remedied that with full details.

The website's timeline chronicles how Valenzuela's business got loans from the US Small Business Administration to rent space, expand inventory, conduct assessments, and relocate. Valenzuela's company got a factory funded by a 1.8 million dollar 504 SBA loan (p. 24) and she even did a commercial for the SBA proudly noting the receipt of the funds and assistance.
posted by cashman (84 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh that is amazing.
And it's clearly a political parody, no financial stake - that domain name is staying around as long as Valenzuela is a public figure.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:24 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder how hard it is to research who's gotten SBA loans. There's a local who rebuilt his seafood business after Hurricane Irene who has been touted in the local media as one of these "I built this" folks. I'm just kind of nosy that way, I'm curious if he got any government assistance.
posted by marxchivist at 8:25 PM on August 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Do you have a local alternative weekly? That might be the kind of question they'd enjoy pointing a reporter at.
posted by box at 8:28 PM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, I kinda have mixed feelings about this site.

Seems like they might hit the minority thing a little hard.
posted by box at 8:31 PM on August 27, 2012


Ugh. This is just like that "We are the 53%" crap that had a post here on MeFi several months ago. I think we should create a website for every political figure -- of both parties, but of course especially for the Republicans -- showing just how much benefit that person has derived from US Government largess over the years: medicaid/medicare, government contacts, welfare, public universities, you name it. We can call it "Everybody's-A-Socialist.com" or perhaps "GovernmentTeat.org".
posted by Palquito at 8:34 PM on August 27, 2012 [38 favorites]


As much as pure, simple logic is on the side of us adults and against the Glibs, here's why we've already lost -- in the American psyche, when the government gives you shit, you've earned it fairly. When other people get free shit, particularly if they aren't white, it's socialism.

I've mentioned my beloved father here on the blue before. Got a PhD from state schools via the GI Bill, over three decades of work for a Federal agency, now lives very comfortably on a guaranteed pension and gold-plated health-care (the same plan the US senators get).

Of course, I ask him about this contradiction all the time, usually right after he gets his daily high off of listening to Limbaugh.

"Well son, I earned it."

Simple as that. No one will ever go broke betting on the insane cognitive dissonance that constituates the American Republican-Libertarian mindset.
posted by bardic at 8:37 PM on August 27, 2012 [135 favorites]


The Submerged State by Suzanne Mettler is perfect reading material for this kind of silliness. Many people are in denial of the assistance they get from government programs.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:38 PM on August 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Seems like they might hit the minority thing a little hard.

I think the point is that the SBA has special programs for minority owned businesses. Programs I bet republicans would like put a stop to.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:40 PM on August 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Of course, it's always illustrative to imagine how profitable businesses would be in the absence of any government. How's the investment environment in Somalia, these days? I'd imagine it's a veritable hot-bed of entrepreneurial activity!
posted by Jimbob at 8:44 PM on August 27, 2012 [24 favorites]


"Well son, I earned it."

We all know damn well that when any of the GOP talk about 'government hand outs' they are using code to refer to anything poverty/welfare related and directed at some perceived huge black horde of public assistance leeches, not 'honest folk'. It has nothing to do with cognitive dissonance. They just won't say what they really mean out loud.
posted by spicynuts at 8:46 PM on August 27, 2012 [70 favorites]


spicynuts is right. this is just lee atwater and welfare mothers all over again. straight up racism.
posted by facetious at 8:52 PM on August 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


I may wear out my forwarding button on this story.
posted by bongo_x at 8:54 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


It really is. Which make it even more.. whats the word, funny? .. oh right, despicable That republicans are lining their pockets with special minority owned business loans.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:56 PM on August 27, 2012


I agree with you somewhat spicynuts but seriously, you'd get a laugh if you met my father. Lives in the middle of nowhere, completely reliant on the government built highway that gets him to the grocery store, doesn't use the internet so he's also completely reliant on the US Postal Service. As mentioned, a literal product of both the GI Bill and American public higher education (trained as a scientist, natch, involved in USAID for fuck's sake).

And yeah, he's a racist. He's told me as much. But racism and a sheer fuckwitted inability to see beyond his monthly pension checks as something paid for by other taxpayers don't cancel one another out.

There's enough stupid to go along with the inherent racism of American politics to go around. Hell, there's enough for seconds and thirds.
posted by bardic at 8:56 PM on August 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wonder how hard it is to research who's gotten SBA loans.

Start here: http://archive.sba.gov/loans/businessdetail/
posted by kithrater at 8:57 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


there are like 10 people in this country who honestly believe in limited government, one of them is richard epstein, and the other 9 are nutjobs at cato.
posted by facetious at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm really kinda shocked that the Republican party seems to have latched onto such a relatively innocuous statement by Obama as proof positive that he's some sort of crypto-socialist. I mean the people that are going to be swayed by that sort of argument are already going to vote for Romney.

Yeah it was probably an ill-considered line that Obama should've quickly revised in a "We all depend on the products of our society in order to thrive and prosper" but I don't really see how this is some sort of gotcha moment that is going to drive the election when it seems completely evident that almost anyone they trot out as an example of bootstrapping themselves into prosperity is going to be the product of a whole host of spending whether it's in education, or small business loans, or just being dependent on fundamental infrastructure investment.

I understand that Romney is desperate to make this election into a referendum on Obama but I just don't see this as the critical missing element he needs to get past the goalposts.
posted by vuron at 9:03 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will never fuck with you Internet.
posted by PHINC at 9:07 PM on August 27, 2012 [15 favorites]


Seriously, the most offensive thing about this is that someone in this fucking day and age is stupid enough to think that the internets won't find out. THE INTERNETS ALWAYS FINDS OUT.

late at night, the gifs come

then the screaming
posted by elizardbits at 9:15 PM on August 27, 2012 [114 favorites]


The hypocrisy is crying out for a broad audience. Another example of the "screw you, I've got mine" GOP manifesto.
posted by arcticseal at 9:16 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seems like they might hit the minority thing a little hard.

Yeah, I was a bit put-off by this too, not because it reflects on the views of the person who made it, but because it's emphasized so strongly. I could easily see a lot of people who don't get the parody rallying around an anti-minority-loans cause.
posted by spiderskull at 9:19 PM on August 27, 2012


elizardbits: "THE INTERNETS ALWAYS FINDS OUT"

They don't care, their constituency doesn't listen to the internet or reasoned counter examples. They hear what they want to hear and discard everything else.
posted by the_artificer at 9:20 PM on August 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


I would argue that they don't care, elizardbits. They've fully embraced the Big Lie theory (and why not when it's worked so far) and are running with it and seeing how far it'll get them.

My god, they're running against a health care plan inspired by the very plan their candidate helped create and that candidate routinely lurches from bragging about it to disowning it depending on which way the wind is blowing. Because for all this will amuse non-voting 20-somethings on Reddit, the actually-voting 60-somethings are going to be terrified Obama will take their Medicare so they'll go vote for the guys planning to replace it completely.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:21 PM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is almost too good to be true. I can't wait to hear the, "But we deserved that help! We're not like those leeches! We only ask for help when we truly need it, and we truly deserved every bit of help we got!"

It's a shame that this stuff doesn't seem to ever shock any GOP'ers back to reality.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:21 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Well son, I earned it."

Often it's not even that. I regularly get into similar arguments with a particular person that always end up with the answer of, "well, if it was available to me, I'd have been a fool not to take it, right? Doesn't mean I don't think it's a waste and want to get rid of it."
posted by ctmf at 9:22 PM on August 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Where "Hell, I didn't even need it that bad and I was able to get it" isn't evidence of hypocrisy and cause for shame; it's proud evidence that the system is wasteful and needs to be done away with.
posted by ctmf at 9:24 PM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sinverguenza Valenzuela!
posted by CRESTA at 9:27 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Women are not even a minority. Take that, brain!
posted by Scram at 9:32 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course, it's always illustrative to imagine how profitable businesses would be in the absence of any government. How's the investment environment in Somalia, these days? I'd imagine it's a veritable hot-bed of entrepreneurial activity!

References to Somalia aside, I think it would behoove most communities to promote where their tax dollars are going, in big, fuzzy ways. In New Mexico, major road projects have signs of their estimated date of completion, and the tax dollars that will be used in the course of the project. I think it's great, because it reminds people "Do you like roads that are well managed? Great! Here are where your tax dollars go."

But I say "big, fuzzy ways," because it would be silly to put price tags on everything that is government-funded. Then people would get into nit-picking. "Oh yeah, the Government spent $X on that? Well, I'm sure Private Industry could do it for $X-20%!"

The point is, EVERYONE benefits from government. Sure, there are those who go out and seek some of the additional aid that is available for people in their situation, but it's dumb to say "I built this alone!"

In summary, "You Didn't Build That" was an accurate comment, but incompletely quoted by Romney's campaign.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:38 PM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Women are not even a minority. Take that, brain!

For the purposes of the SBA they are owned by a hispanic male.

First State Manufacturing Inc M HA $ 120,000 $ 300,000.

Check out the 8(a) certifications.

I'm sure the hispanic male is her husband Eli. But really, who is the owner here? Sher Valenzuela? Her husband,Eli Valenzuela, who according to the SBA is the owner? Or the shadowy Ashley Wolf, their generic white dude business partner.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:49 PM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


'Ashley Wolf' is a good name for a generic rich-white-guy villain, I'll give them that.
posted by box at 9:51 PM on August 27, 2012 [15 favorites]


Oh, the 8(a) certification is for Economically Disadvantaged Businesses, which it why it denotes sex and race. The company must be owned by a minority or a woman to qualify.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:56 PM on August 27, 2012


"Oh yeah, the Government spent $X on that? Well, I'm sure Private Industry could do it for $X-20%!"

I hate that kind of thinking. I work in a small corner of a Fortune 25 company, and we piss millions away on ill-planned projects on a regular basis. Outside of some weapons programs, I'm willing to bet that government is far more cost conscious than a typical big business.
posted by Ickster at 9:56 PM on August 27, 2012 [19 favorites]


What really gets me is that he never said business owners didn't build their businesses. What he said was 100% correct, and what the Republicans have been saying about it is 100% a fucking despicable lie.

God, the Democrats annoy the shit out of me and disappoint me every time I start to think that maybe they're not so bad, but the Republican Party is just dedicated being the worst failures of humanity they can be.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:35 PM on August 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


"You Didn't Build That" was an accurate comment, but incompletely quoted by Romney's campaign.

More accurately:
"You Didn't Build That" was an accurate comment, but deceptively mis-quoted by Romney's campaign.

They've done it before.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:49 PM on August 27, 2012


Assertion: "as part of a platform meant to suggest business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government. "

Evidence offered to support it: None. Valenzuela is one of twelve speakers the first day. The theme of the day is "We Built It." At this point, that's all we know. There is no evidence to support that claim that Valenzuela will say or suggest "business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government."

BUT HEY, LET'S EVERYONE PILE ON ANYWAY BECAUSE METAFILTER GRAR GRAR GRAR AND AREN'T THOSE RETHUGLICANS STUPID AND EVIL!
posted by Alaska Jack at 11:56 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Evidence offered to support it: None. Valenzuela is one of twelve speakers the first day. The theme of the day is "We Built It." At this point, that's all we know. There is no evidence to support that claim that Valenzuela will say or suggest "business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government."

So ... you do understand that "We Built It" is direct reference to and attempted refutation of Barack Obama's endlessly misquoted line "You didn't build that", which in full context means exactly "no business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government."
posted by kafziel at 12:12 AM on August 28, 2012 [16 favorites]


I'm getting "Unable to connect to database.
A database error occurred while processing this request."
messages when I try to get to http://www.firststatemanufacturing.com/
posted by merelyglib at 12:14 AM on August 28, 2012


AREN'T THOSE RETHUGLICANS STUPID AND EVIL!

Usually I'd say and/or—but you're right; there is a sort of evil to inveterate stupidity.
posted by fleacircus at 1:12 AM on August 28, 2012


Just wanted to take a second to point out the header graphic on the real FSM site, an American eagle with “Under These Wings, Everything Prospers” caption.
posted by migurski at 1:15 AM on August 28, 2012


migurski: I fixed that for them.
posted by dumbland at 2:56 AM on August 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


migurski: I fixed that for them.

Balls make everything funny.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:47 AM on August 28, 2012


Balls make everything funny.

They are pretty ridiculous.
posted by maxwelton at 4:21 AM on August 28, 2012


Just wanted to take a second to point out the header graphic on the real FSM site, an American eagle with “Under These Wings, Everything Prospers” caption.

I love that conservatives keep designing websites that look like Steven Colbert parodies.
posted by octothorpe at 4:42 AM on August 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


What I liked was Ron Paul's looney speech at the Libertarian convention. Something to the effect of: "You should be able to do anything you want! Motorcycles w/o helmets, smoke unfiltered cigarettes! But if you happen to die from those activities, we're not going to help you out!"

I want to present him with a guy with a massive head injury because he wasn't wearing his seat belt and say, okay, it's your job to watch this guy die w/o medical intervention. Then you get to tell his kids, 'oh, we could have saved your daddy's life, but he was stupid, so hey, sorry.'
posted by angrycat at 5:06 AM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


kithrater: "I wonder how hard it is to research who's gotten SBA loans.

Start here: http://archive.sba.gov/loans/businessdetail/
"

So can anybody tell me the purpose of the SBA? There were a couple local companies that I looked a little cross-eyed at, but then I saw Maverick Southern Kitchens on the list to a tune of almost $2 million if I'm reading that correctly. They own 3 major restaurants (one of which will be ~$200 for a 4 top before wine, another across the street at ~$150) in Charleston and one in Greenville, along with a "kitchen store" in Charleston, Greenville, and Columbia. They're not what I'd call a small business and they've been operating successfully for at least a decade.
posted by This Guy at 5:08 AM on August 28, 2012


It looks like SBA qualifications are based on either employees and gross receipts, or net income and net worth. I can't find the specific caps, but you can read about the many SBA loans at sba.gov.

I will note that just because a restaurant receipts $200 a table doesn't mean that they have high net income - restaurant profit margins are notoriously razor-thin.
posted by muddgirl at 5:28 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


BUT HEY, LET'S EVERYONE PILE ON ANYWAY BECAUSE METAFILTER GRAR GRAR GRAR AND AREN'T THOSE RETHUGLICANS STUPID AND EVIL!

Partially agreed. There is a certain irony that on the Republican Convention's first day, the title of which is a barb aimed at the president, will include a speaker who is an exemplar of the very point the president was making.

Whether Sher Valenzuela will increase the irony to maximum power by proclaiming she did it all own her own is yet to be seen. Judging from the few snippets that date prior to the website, it appears she did not shy away from the fact she had help from the government in achieving success: “We want to help people. We don’t need any more government programs; we just need to be able to use the ones that already exist,” said Sher Valenzuela. although that has a hint of "screw you, I've got mine" to it. maybe I'm being uncharitable. It certainly wouldn't be the first time a politician has engaged in rank hypocrisy to secure more votes.

However, even if Ms Valenzuela does remain a believer in the role government plays in the success of business, the website is still well-targeted satire and serves as a useful reminder of some positive aspects of government intervention.
posted by kithrater at 5:30 AM on August 28, 2012


So can anybody tell me the purpose of the SBA?

Because the failure rate for small businesses as a group is large, individual small businesses struggle to attract financing. The primary role of the SBA is to attempt to correct this problem: the SBA is not making the loans itself, but rather arranging and guaranteeing loans between entrepreneurs and small businesses, and local banks and financial instituions. The SBA's definition of small business is here.
posted by kithrater at 5:45 AM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


muddgirl: "It looks like SBA qualifications are based on either employees and gross receipts, or net income and net worth. I can't find the specific caps, but you can read about the many SBA loans at sba.gov.

I will note that just because a restaurant receipts $200 a table doesn't mean that they have high net income - restaurant profit margins are notoriously razor-thin.
"

Yeah I know restaurants are super tricky to make profitable. I was mainly basing it off the fact that they seem to be opening new ventures pretty often (not a bad thing! and possibly happening precisely because there are available loans like the ones SBA backs) and they're some of the more high-end dining in the super-tourist section of Charleston. Food and bev in Charleston is a pretty major thing, and they give off all the signs of doing things successfully. Appearances are not reality, of course. Looking at the definitions of a small business the SBA provides they're likely well under the cap and I'm perfectly ok with helping businesses expand and thrive. I think it was the juxtaposition of John's Island Coin Laundry (which shows up 4 times on the list, weirdly) next to a well-known powerhouse restaurant group that set off my WTF sensors.
posted by This Guy at 6:20 AM on August 28, 2012


I think the site would have packed more punch if it had been released post RNC.
posted by dobbs at 6:44 AM on August 28, 2012


So ... you do understand that "We Built It" is direct reference to and attempted refutation of Barack Obama's endlessly misquoted line "You didn't build that", which in full context means exactly "no business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government.
This is only accurate if you include things like infrastructure and "being able to hire employees educated in public schools" as "government assistance".

Anyway I mean I got what Obama was trying to say when he said it, but there's no way it wasn't a gaffe.
posted by kavasa at 6:47 AM on August 28, 2012


This is only accurate if you include things like infrastructure and "being able to hire employees educated in public schools" as "government assistance".

Of course it's government assistance. It's only "false" if you redefine "government" or "assistance."
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:58 AM on August 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


[MetaTalk is where your off-topic comments or discussion of policy go. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:59 AM on August 28, 2012


I would say that humans have a tendency to be stupid and evil, and they especially do this when resources are running low and then even granny gets a shiv in the back.

Resources are running low and white Americans are going to be getting a smaller piece of the pie.

So, we could say that the GOP in 2012 is a manifestation of the inherent stupidity and evil in humanity.
posted by angrycat at 8:03 AM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The theme of the day is "We Built It." At this point, that's all we know.

How typically Romney-esque. What's the point of the day's theme? That hasn't been revealed yet. What did we build? No one's saying. Who are the "we" who built it? Dunno. Could be our we, could be your we, might be someone else's we entirely. Clearly though, "We Built It."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:44 AM on August 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Unfortunately, not a new thing:
The real meaning of "free market conservatism" is illustrated by a closer look at the most passionate enthusiasts for "getting the government off our backs" and letting the market reign undisturbed. Take Newt Gingrich, the leader of the victorious congressional army...

Gingrich represents Cobb County Georgia, which the New York Times -- reasonably enough -- selected in a recent front-page story to illustrate the rising tide of "conservatism" aimed at ridding us of the "nanny state." The headline reads "Conservatism Flowering Among the Malls," in this wealthy suburb of Atlanta, one of several that "offer -- particularly to whites -- a sense of prosperity and safety, conservative Southern values and a relaxed, friendly way of life." It's a "Norman Rockwell world with fiber optic computers and jet airplanes," Gingrich comments with pride. With its "history of inhospitality toward blacks," Cobb County is scrupulously insulated from any urban infection so that the inhabitants can enjoy the fruits of their "enterpreneurial values" and market enthusiasms in "the conservative heart of a conservative region," defended in Congress by the leader of the conservative triumph.

A small footnote: Cobb County receives more federal subsidies than any suburban county in the country, with two exceptions: Arlington Virginia, effectively part of the Federal Government, and Brevard County Florida, the home of the Kennedy Space Center. When we move out of the state system itself, Cobb County is the leading beneficiary of the "nanny state." Its largest employer is Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company, which is designing the F-22 advanced tactical fighter and other military aircraft. 72% of the workforce are in white-collar jobs "in expanding areas of the economy like insurance, electronics and computers, and trade" -- all carefully tended by "the nanny state." It's remarkably easy for conservative entrepreneurial values to flourish while one is feeding happily at the public trough. Meanwhile praises to market miracles reach the heavens, notably where "conservatism is flowering among the malls."
And as for the Raptor program:
The United States Air Force originally planned to order 750 ATFs at a cost of $26.2 billion, with production beginning in 1994; however, the 1990 Major Aircraft Review led by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney altered the plan to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996. The goal changed again in 1994, when it became 438 aircraft entering service in 2003 or 2004, but a 1997 Department of Defense report put the purchase at 339. In 2003, the air force said that the existing congressional cost cap limited the purchase to 277. In December 2004, the Department of Defense reduced procurement funding so only 183 aircraft could be bought. The Pentagon stated the reduction to 183 fighters would save $15 billion but raise the cost of each aircraft; this was implemented in the form of a multi-year procurement plan, which allowed for further orders later. The total cost of the program by 2006 was $62 billion.
The story is always the same. Government programs are fine as long as they benefit the right people.
posted by deanklear at 8:49 AM on August 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yikes, WNYC is covering the convention hard core. It's like a weird combination of apathy and hate down there.
posted by angrycat at 8:49 AM on August 28, 2012


What is the monetary definition of small business? Cause I'm sure that a company with revenues of $4.5 million isn't small anymore. I always considered small business to be under $250K. Or do they base this kind of thing on the number of employees?
posted by daHIFI at 9:09 AM on August 28, 2012


What is the monetary definition of small business?

For the SBA it's less than $7 million in turnover for non-manufacturing concerns or less than 500 employees for industrial companies.
posted by Talez at 9:15 AM on August 28, 2012


"This is only accurate if you include things like infrastructure and "being able to hire employees educated in public schools" as "government assistance".

Anyway I mean I got what Obama was trying to say when he said it, but there's no way it wasn't a gaffe.
posted by kavasa at 6:47 AM on August 28 [+] [!] "

If you see the whole clip, and the quote in context, that is exactly how Obama meant it:

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

It's only a gaffe in Republican spin la la land where they have to invent things through tricky editing to criticize their opponents.
posted by jetsetsc at 9:18 AM on August 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Palquito: We can call it "Everybody's-A-Socialist.com" or perhaps "GovernmentTeat.org".

That reminds me of the band "Government Mule." Maybe "Government Teat" is the all-girl Allman tribute band? And "GovernmentTeat.org" is their big fan site?
posted by wenestvedt at 9:21 AM on August 28, 2012


I can speak from experience from my attempts to start a small business of my own. I had contacts whom I worked with over several years inside my local SBA office who I did IT support for. When it came time to ramp up production of my consumer electronic device and acquire funding, they turned cold. The SBA that was then exposed to me was one that worked to fund sure bets for cronies. I was left to find angel capital on my own. What leads my SBA did supply fueled my perception that croneyism is just how they operate.
posted by sydnius at 9:22 AM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.

It's not tricky editing, he put those two things in the same sentence. If you just add the sentences on each side, its fine. But it was careless to phrase it the way he did because it creates a seamless quote once you edit the rest of it out.
posted by dry white toast at 9:22 AM on August 28, 2012


The mistake was his use of the singular adjective 'that' and not the plural 'those'.
posted by daHIFI at 9:27 AM on August 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Valenzuela's campaign staff apparently released this press release today:
We greatly appreciative all those who have stepped forward to help just this past week! Your support will be the fuel that drives our campaign to victory in November,” Valenzuela said.

“We’re also excited by the new interest our story has received, both here in Delaware and across the country. We’re honored to get such coverage,” Valenzuela continued.

“Our story is an American story. It’s one one that has been repeated through the generations. Start with an idea, have faith to take a risk and work hard every day to see your dream come true.”

From manufacturing seats for local restaurants to covers for U.S. Air Force engines, Valenzuela said her company, First State manufacturing, was blessed to contribute to many sectors of the American economy.

“I am especially proud of our work to support our men and women in the Armed Services,” Valenzuela said.

“Offering our military better products and services at better prices is a great deal for taxpayers. It promotes the leaner, more efficient government I strongly support.”

Valenzuela is also excited about the opportunity to share ways other start up and early stage businesses can help build a stronger economy. Her work to establish “Business Accelerators” across Delaware, like the one being established in her hometown of Milford, is an example of this commitment.

“These one stop shops will help early stage businesses effectively access existing resources and grow their companies,” Valenzuela said.

“Make no mistake, it’s the entrepreneur’s blood, sweat and tears that’s the key to any small business succeeding. That’s why the President’s exact quote – “you didn’t build it – someone else did” – rings hollow with me.

“Government alone can’t build our economy,” Valenzuela said. “It should help create overall economic conditions that foster business growth and offer the encouragement and support business needs to thrive in today’s global economy. U.S. Small Business Administration-supported programs like SCORE, which provides assistance with the creation of business plans, and SBA backed loans, are resources millions of entrepreneurs across the country like me have used with great results for our economy.”

“As Delaware’s next Lt. Governor, my number one focus will be to grow more jobs and better jobs in our state, and I know how to do it.”
It is really pitiful when you misquote parts of your already fabricated nonsensical taken out of context creation, to avoid looking like the complete hypocrite you are for taking millions in government money and government stimulus funds only to have your party turn around and attack government aid and government stimulus. Paul Ryan did this as well.

At this point, journalists need to take over, ask questions of Valenzuela on camera, and press this issue.
posted by cashman at 9:46 AM on August 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's not tricky editing, he put those two things in the same sentence. If you just add the sentences on each side, its fine. But it was careless to phrase it the way he did because it creates a seamless quote once you edit the rest of it out.

Ordinary speech is not produced in "sentences." There are no "full stops" in spoken English. I would argue that the best way to characterize in written English what Obama was saying in that speech would be as follows:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help: there was a great teacher somewhere in your life; somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive; somebody invested in roads and bridges--if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that; somebody else made that happen.
If you listen to the actual speech it is abundantly clear that the "that" of "you didn't build that" refers to the whole slew of examples of the "help" that will have been provided to you as an American citizen. It's not a separate, complete thought, it's a quasi-parenthetical summation of the preceding argument.

The "OMG, why didn't he say "those" instead of "that"" line is missing the point. It's not a direct reference to "roads and bridges" it's a reference to the whole "unbelievable American system"--the preexisting social, cultural and governmental infrastructure--that makes it possible for individual initiative and effort to yield the results it does.

It's an utterly anodyne point, one that Romney himself has made at length in his own speeches (before, of course, the whole "you didn't build that" fauxtrage) and it is truly shameful to witness the deliberate mendacity of the Republicans in trying to pretend that they don't perfectly well understand what Obama was saying.
posted by yoink at 9:50 AM on August 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, to those in the "it's a gaffe" camp, was Obama's quotation of John McCain saying "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose" a gaffe because it allowed Romney to edit it so that it looked like they were Obama's own words rather than John McCain's? At what point does a gaffe become a foul on the part of the person who edits the tape?

Of course, if the Obama campaign wants to play the "turn mundane statements into gaffes" game, they could just this. Those are Romney's words, after all! Gaffetacular!
posted by tonycpsu at 10:02 AM on August 28, 2012


... but there's no way it wasn't a gaffe.

If it is, it's an Atwater gaffe (link to own comment), at best.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:13 AM on August 28, 2012


I couldn't find a link to the full interview yet, but Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) asked Mitt Romney's campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom about the misleading talking point they keep using about Obama getting rid of the welfare work requirements. Inskeep called him out on it through over the course of 3 or 4 questions and Eric let out this heh heh heh laugh just kept on dodging the question.
posted by daHIFI at 10:13 AM on August 28, 2012


Brian Lehrer of WNYC interviewed John Sununu and asked him some questions about the disparity of wealth in the U.S. and Sununu answered him with some sentence that used the word 'snide' I think three times.
posted by angrycat at 10:16 AM on August 28, 2012


Sorry, it was Romney's political director Rich Beeson.
Asked why his campaign continues to run an ad suggesting that President Obama has "gutted" welfare reform, despite the claim being labeled a distortion by Annenberg's FactCheck.org and "pants on fire" by PolitiFact, Beeson says it's really just a question of how you parse things.

Nine governors have sent letters to President Obama asking that the work requirement, putting in place as part of an overhaul of welfare during the Clinton administration, not be waived, Beeson points out. Here's a bit of the back and forth:

Inskeep: "Doesn't the change mean that the governors can choose or can apply to change the work requirement as opposed to being forced to remove it?"

Beeson: "Again, that still is a change."

Inskeep: "But it's not, quote, 'they just send you your check,' which is what the ad says."

Beeson: (laughs) "I think reasonable people can have a disagreement over this but he [Obama] has significantly changed what President Clinton put in in 1996."
posted by daHIFI at 10:18 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's sort of amazing to me the lack of self-awareness of these people. Just a few weeks ago, the Romney campaign paraded a couple of local Tampa business people in front of an audience to complain about Obama's "you didn't build that" remark. Local Tampa business persons who do most of their work for various government agencies.
posted by lordrunningclam at 10:31 AM on August 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


The First State Manufacturing site really is a work of brilliance -- it's almost perfectly opaque, and unless you know the backstory it's impossible to guess that it's really a parody.
posted by Shepherd at 12:53 PM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


RNC To Showcase ‘We Built This!’ Theme From a Stadium Mostly Financed By Public Taxpayer Dollars

Republican Convention Taking Place In City With America’s Highest Homeless Rate
posted by homunculus at 12:54 PM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


well, to be fair, it's much better to be homeless in the warmer part of the country. you can live longer that way.
posted by eustatic at 1:49 PM on August 28, 2012


Looks like they got a hold of Valenzuela's powerpoint presentation from earlier this year where she presented to the Wilmington Women In Business forum. It is chock full of Valenzuela saying GO TO THE GOVERNMENT, GET MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

One slide literally tells people that want to start businesses, START WITH THE GOVERNMENT. The other slides are just slide after slide urging and pushing people to get loans from the government and money from the government, and stressing that the government is you, and thus you should feel great working with the government. You really have to be deluding yourself to think that this is anything close to what the RNC is trying to shovel.

This is the exact message, that our government is by the people and for the people, that we build resources that everyone can use, and that the government is an instrumental part in our society. And Valenzuela is the Powerpoint Poster Child that exemplifies that.

I am guessing The Daily Show runs with this tonight (I think it is new), and I Imagine the Obama team are waiting until next week to really run with the facts of this.
posted by cashman at 2:19 PM on August 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Charles Pierce: Rule 15 and the Great RNC Screwing of Ron Paul
There is one thing to remember about how this convention got itself put together. As much fun as we've had here on the blog, and throughout the land, with Crazy Uncle Liberty (!), the people supporting him got pretty well screwed this time around. They got screwed at the local level and at the state level and, on Tuesday, they got rogered good and proper by their national party.
[...]
Two things happened on Tuesday afternoon. There was a compromise on one rule that allows the Republican National Committee now to revoke the credentials of delegates who fail to follow the binding rules set down by their state committees. (This brings the authority of the national party into a function heretofore exercised by the state committees.) And there was the passage of Rule 12, the one that got John Sununu hollered at from the floor, which allows two-thirds of the RNC leadership, rather than the convention as whole, to change any party rule. "I really don't believe that most of the people who voted here today realize exactly how much of their own freedom they voted away," said Rob Bybee of Nevada, who was fielding the questions that went past Lake. "The committee can change anything midstream. We got smushed."
[...]
This was all bound to happen. This is what always happens to people who live in a world of strict construction, whether that is a strict construction of something as important as the Constitution, or a strict construction of something as seemingly trivial as local party rules. They are always blindsided by compromise, struck dumb by the simple human impulse to power and how effective it can be when it is wielded by people who are not overly afflicted by conscience.
I'm not going to shed a tear or play a sad song on the nanofiddle for Paul, but this is a good reminder of how much of a kabuki dance the nominating process is, with delegates who may or may not be bound to represent the voters, party officials who may or may not be bound to listen to the delegates, etc.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:30 PM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay, this is just plain weird. I know this woman. I've photographed her husband for the newspaper repeatedly, and did a profile on First State Manufacturing a while back. She's quite nice in person (although until this whole dust-up started I had no idea what her politics were, much less that she was running for office).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:40 PM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The dirty secret is that there are many nice, decent people who do not share our political views.

Reminds me of when one of my rather liberal law professors brought up how shockingly nice and pleasant Ken Starr was in person.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:46 PM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, I've lived in small towns more than enough to learn that one. The dirty secret for me is that sometimes the guy who paints his face and does a pantomime to pay tribute to the 9/11 dead has his wife end up as a nationwide political talking point, and it does not stop being strange.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:53 PM on August 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hopefully the rule changes this year are a sign that the bloated national convention is on the way out. It's fun to dream about a small upstart nerd can follow the rules better than anyone else and get a seat at the big table, but politics (especially modern GOP politics) has never worked that way.
posted by muddgirl at 4:18 PM on August 28, 2012


There's a pretty decent live Ustream chat on the silliness at the RNC (3 women in a row! Black, Latino and white...what are they trying to say? I wonder...)

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/

C'mon down, ya'all! Yee Haw!!
posted by Skygazer at 5:16 PM on August 28, 2012


Massachusetts medical marijuana opposition forgets to register domain
posted by homunculus at 12:37 AM on September 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


« Older "I chose the meditation style known as Vipassana f...  |  English that looks like Chines... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments