O’Bannon for House
Post Office Box 70365
Henrico, Virginia 23255-0365
Contact: Richie Parsons
PAID FOR BY O’BANNON FOR HOUSE ? AUTHORIZED BY JOHN M. O’BANNON III, CANDIDATE FOR DELEGATE, 73RD DISTRICT
O’Bannon: Shields is Wrong on Qimonda
73rd District Delegate sets record straight on Qimonda’s shutdown
Richmond, VA, August 6, 2009: Delegate John M. O’Bannon III, M.D. (R-Henrico),
today set the record straight on the details surrounding the shutdown of Qimonda, the German computer chip firm that operated a processing plant in Eastern Henrico County. In his announcement speech last week, O’Bannon’s Democrat opponent Tom Shields
attacked Delegate O’Bannon for voting against accelerating an almost $14 million grant to the German-based company.
“The vote against making that payment to Qimonda had nothing to do with the firm shutting down,” O’Bannon commented. “Their parent company, Qimonda AG, filed for bankruptcy in Germany. Their North American subsidiary became insolvent and was shuttered as a result. The action of the General Assembly had nothing to do with this
closure, and Tom Shields would know that if he had performed just a cursory review of the facts.”
Further, the issue at hand was that Virginia had signed a contract to make incentive payments in specific years based on the achievement of specific employment levels. Making these payments early would have set a bad precedent and would put Virginia in a bad position if other businesses were to request accelerated payments whenever they were having a difficult cash flow year. This decision would have signaled that Virginia contracts are open for renegotiation.
Shields has been disputing Delegate O’Bannon’s vote against the $14 million amendment to the 2008-2010 Biennial Budget, which was famously defended by Delegate Joseph D. “Joe” Morrissey (D-Richmond). A bipartisan majority of the House of Delegates rejected the Morrissey-backed amendment to accelerate the agreed upon performance payments to Qimonda by a vote of 70 to 28. Not only that, Governor Kaine chose not to offer it later as one of his several amendments to the Budget as approved by the General Assembly. Furthermore, had the Morrissey-backed amendment been approved by the House, the $14 million expenditure would not have been allocated until after Qimonda had filed for bankruptcy, thus ensuring the expenditure by Virginia taxpayers would be tied up in a bankruptcy court in Munich for an indefinite period of time.
While Shields has characterized the House’s rejection of Morrissey’s amendment as a “partisan vote,” 13 Democratic delegates, including Delegate Stephen C. Shannon (D-Fairfax), Democratic nominee for Attorney General, voted against the measure.
“This was a bipartisan vote,” said Delegate O’Bannon. “We did the right thing, and the events that have transpired since our decision have only served to reinforce that fact.”
Delegate O’Bannon’s position is reinforced by a news article that appeared earlier this year in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (“Qimonda AG Deadline Extended,” March 17, 2009). According to the article, “Since the insolvency filing, Qimonda AG has cut off funding to local operations, causing Qimonda Richmond and Qimonda North America to announce closure of its manufacturing plant in eastern Henrico County.”
“Tom Shields’s current position would be the equivalent of providing taxpayer-funded bailouts to overseas companies, without protecting a single Virginia job,” declared O’Bannon. “His support of the Morrissey-backed proposal would have sent $14 million from Virginia taxpayers to creditors in Germany, and provided absolutely nothing to assist the workers who were laid off. If Shields is talking to as many people in the 73rd District as he claims, he should know that the last thing they want is for their hard-earned money to finance another government bailout.”
First elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2000, John M. O’Bannon III, M.D. represents the 73rd District, which is comprised of portions of Henrico County and the City of Richmond.