WASHINGTON -- The city council of Freeport, Ill., approved a resolution Monday evening that will call on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to step in and save roughly 170 local jobs being outsourced by a company owned by Bain Capital.
Last year, Massachusetts-based Sensata Technologies announced that it was closing its Freeport plant by the end of 2012 and shipping the jobs to China. The U.S. positions, the company claimed, would be phased out gradually. Sensata Technologies makes sensors and controls that are used in aircraft and automobiles.
The resolution organized by Sensata employees calls on Romney -- who co-founded Bain -- to "come to Freeport to meet the people directly affected by Bain Capital's outsourcing and to step in and stop the outsourcing of these jobs from Freeport to China."
The city council voted unanimously, 8-0, on Monday to approve the Sensata resolution.
Romney maintains that he left Bain in 1999, even though multiple documents list him as having leadership roles with the company beyond that date.
Regardless of the date that he left, Tom Gaulrapp -- a lifelong resident of Freeport and 33-year employee of Sensata -- said that Romney still bears some responsibility.
"They used his business model," Gaulrapp said. "And the board of directors and most of the officers at Bain Capital were put in place by him. There's an ongoing debate over whether he actually left in 1999 or whether he filed wrong documents to the SEC. In either case, they're still using his business model. He's the one who taught them how to do this. These guys were put there by him. So you can say he doesn't run the day-to-day operations, but he's still at blame for the way they do business."
Democratic Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp (who is distantly related to Tom Gaulrapp) backs the Sensata resolution and predicts that it will pass unanimously before the city council on Monday evening.
"He [Romney] is running for president," said the mayor. "These people felt it was a little hypocritical that he was with Bain Capital, he organized some of the processes, and now he's touring the country ... saying we need to keep jobs here in the United States. And yet for a long time, he made a lot of profits by tearing companies apart and sending them overseas."
A Romney spokesperson reiterated that the governor left Bain in 1999, and said he has no knowledge of the Freeport controversy.
Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) currently represents Freeport, and after redistricting goes into effect, the new congressman will be Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.). Both lawmakers wrote to Sensata CEO Tom Wroe on July 6, urging him to keep the jobs in the U.S.
"I appreciate your comments regarding understanding the competitive pressure facing companies in today's global marketplace and I assure you that we strive to balance our duty to our shareholders with our duty as corporate citizens, just as you strive to balance the interests of your local constituents with that which is best for our country," responded Wroe. "Closing the Freeport facility is the right strategy for our business in order to deliver value to our shareholders and to support our global customers."
Neither Schilling nor Manzullo responded to comment on the Freeport resolution involving Romney.
Tom Gaulrapp wouldn't say who he was planning to vote for in the presidential election, although he said he'd certainly give Romney a close look if he steps in and saves Freeport's jobs. As for what he will do when the Sensata plant closes, Gaulrapp, 54, said he may look at going back to school.
"The Trade Adjustment Act allows us to go back to college, but if there aren't jobs available to use any kind of college education that you might be able to add to your resume, is there really a point to that?" asked Gaulrapp. "Like most of the people in my age group and in this situation, our future is just completely bleak."
UPDATE: 8:49 p.m. -- This story was updated to reflect the city council's vote.
With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/28/mitt-romney-will-not-repu_n_1551540.html" target="_hplink">(May 28, 2012) --</a></strong> Despite a resurgence of <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/25/mitt-romney-s-new-bff-donald-trump.html" target="_hplink">Donald Trump's birther claims</a>, Romney refused to repudiate the billionaire, who has been helping with his 2012 campaign efforts. "You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me ... I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people," Romney said. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Who Let The Dogs Out (Baha Men)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/mitt-romney-seamus_n_1429925.html" target="_hplink">(April 16, 2012) -- </a></strong> In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, Romney discussed the political fallout over strapping his dog Seamus to a car roof. He admits that he probably would not do it again. (Handout)
It's The End Of The World As We Know It (R.E.M.)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/mitt-romney-medicare-president-obama_n_1403267.html" target="_hplink">WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 4, 2012) --</a></strong> Speaking before the Newspaper Association of America, Romney attacked Barack Obama on his health record, claiming the president "has taken a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it." (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
For The Love Of Money (The O'Jays)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/mitt-romney-i-made-a-lot-of-money_n_1345516.html" target="_hplink"><strong>NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 14, 2012) -- </strong></a> Romney became testy on Fox News while discussing his appeal to lower-income voters. On the same day, Occupy Wall Street protesters staged a demonstration outside Mitt's Waldorf Astoria hotel fundraiser. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
People Are Strange (The Doors)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/mitt-romney-south_n_1334478.html" target="_hplink">PASCAGOULA, Miss. (March 9, 2012) --</a></strong> While on the trail in Alabama and Mississippi, Romney got in touch with his Southern side, learning how to say "y'all" and liking his grits. With those new experiences in hand, he admitted that "strange things are happening to me." (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)
Pink Cadillac (Bruce Springsteen)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mitt-romney-cadillac_n_1299740.html" target="_hplink"><strong>DETROIT, Mich. (Feb. 24, 2012) -- </strong></a> While speaking before the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field, Romney listed not two, not three, but four American-made cars that he and his wife, Ann, owned. Among the vehicles: "a couple of Cadillacs." (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
It's The Hard-Knock Life (Annie & The Orphans)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/mitt-romney-very-poor_n_1246557.html" target="_hplink">TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2012) --</a></strong> In an interview with CNN, Romney noted that he is "not concerned about the very poor," citing the social safety net for that segment of the populace. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
America The Beautiful
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/mitt-romney-america-the-beautiful-_n_1243908.html" target="_hplink"><strong>THE VILLAGES, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2012) --</strong></a> On the eve of Florida's primary, Romney led his supporters in a singing of the patriotic song. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
Successful (Drake, Lil Wayne)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/mitt-romney-tax-returns_n_1217708.html" target="_hplink"> <strong>CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 19, 2012) -- </strong></a> During CNN's GOP debate, Romney refused to commit to disclosing his tax returns, offering no apologies for his success. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
Bye Bye Bye ('N Sync)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/mitt-romney-i-like-being-able-to-fire-people_n_1194115.html" target="_hplink"><strong>NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012) -- </strong></a> In a speech about insurance options, Romney tells audience members, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." (Photo:AP/Charles Dharapak)
Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/28/mitt-romney-embraces-climate-change-denial_n_1063905.html" target="_hplink">PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Oct. 27, 2011) --</a></strong> Back in June 2011, Romney said humans are somewhat tied to climate change. By October, he had reversed course, saying "We don't know what causes climate change." (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)