More Evidence of a Business/Republican Rift

Here's some more evidence that the recent lovefest between the Chamber of Commerce and a Democratic Member of Congress is apparently no accident. MonroeRising, the local conservative blog of record, has decided to make fun of Paetec, a local communications company. Because of Paetec's recent woes, they're portraying the new headquarters building as a shack on the prairie.

Paetec is a local company that employs close to a thousand people. They took advantage of some tax breaks and other incentives, and they plan to move their headquarters downtown. They are having a tough time because of the recession, so they've been downsizing their plans.

I didn't realize that pointing and laughing was the "conservative" response to a company that's having a hard time, but I guess we're living in a new era.



What are things slow around here? No stunts by Eric Massa to let us know what a genius he is? Political Humor is an age old tradition that is funniest when it has a truth in it.

The fact of the matter is that Paetec has never shown a profit, never ever lots of growth but no profit. They are not having a hard time because of the recent recession. They are having a hard time because they are a business run on smoke and mirrors. Their growth plan is to keep buying other companies that are also under performing and somehow collectively they will somehow be profitable.

They come to a democratic Mayor and are looking for there own bailout to build a property that is a well past it's prime landmark. The stores in it are old and more than a bit run down. They are forced to move or close down all together taking away some jobs. This is hardly a success story.

Now lets look right across the street, we have Ren Square proposal by Maggie Brooks and what does she get? A lot of grief, and rightfully so. Such community projects that involve tax dollars should be scrutinized and have their issues criticized where appropriate. Cincinnatus over at MonroeRising has been hitting it right every time on the new Paetec office. Everything that has happened he has cautioned us about. If anything we should look carefully at what he says and realize that he understands the situation quite well. They are a company that could quickly go the way of Global Crossing and we should perform due diligence on such projects before dumping our tax dollars into it. We may end up with a hole that is uglier than the shack that was displayed as a joke.

If kicking a local company that's doing a pretty good job when they're down is your idea of humor, I don't share your sense of fun, nor do groups like the Chamber of Commerce, which traditionally supports conservatives.

I don't have a problem with questioning whether Paetec should get breaks to locate downtown -- but is it necessary to post a picture of a shack? What I saw was yet another instance of pointing and laughing.

As for "smoke and mirrors", let me, a "socialist" according to you guys, explain what's going on with Paetec.

Paetec, like every other communications company, is a capital-intensive business. In order to create the business, they took on big investments (similar to loans) from folks like the Blackstone group and other private equity partners. This was all fully disclosed in their prospectus, in their annual reports, and in conference calls with shareholders.

Though Paetec is cash-flow positive and has positive EBITA, they are carrying a large debt load. Because of the credit crunch, the market is punishing companies with big debt, especially companies financed by private equity firms, which are facing withdrawals from their shareholders which may, in turn, lead to them calling in loans.

Certainly Paetec has made some business decisions that are questionable in hindsight, but they're a real company providing real service, and they employ about 1,000 people doing that.

In other words, Paetec' stockholders and bondholders took a risk based on full disclosure. Paetec didn't defraud anyone, as your "smoke and mirrors" comment would seem to indicate. If you're going to accuse a local company of fraud, you need some evidence. Do you have some?