While Workers in Kimberly Struggle without Paychecks,
John Gard Cashes NewPage Checks to Advance His Career


MADISON – During his current campaign for Congress, John Gard took a $2,000 check from a lobbyist for the company that owns NewPage, the same company that is holding 600 northeast Wisconsin workers hostage by refusing to run or sell its Kimberly mill.

The news, which was revealed during a United Steelworkers rally in Kimberly today, prompted the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to call on Gard to return the check now and deliver an explanation to the recently laid-off workers in Kimberly.

”John Gard needs to put his greed for corporate cash and political power aside and return this check now,” said Joe Wineke, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair. “If he doesn’t return the money, Gard needs to explain how he will be able to represent the laid-off Kimberly workers in Congress when he is in the pockets of the company that owns the NewPage mill.”    

During his current campaign for Congress, Gard took the $2,000 check from David Hobbs, a lobbyist for Cerberus Capital Management, the company that owns NewPage and closed the Kimberly mill. (Source: Federal Elections Committee, http://images.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?28930060801, accessed 10.05.08)

NewPage recently closed two paper mills in the 8th Congressional District, resulting in the loss of more than 900 jobs. The company has been holding 600 workers hostage in Kimberly by refusing to run or sell its Kimberly plant, a modern, state-of-the-art facility that is one of NewPage’s most productive paper mills.

“By accepting money from NewPage, John Gard has proven again that he is on the side of lobbyists and big corporations and not struggling families in Kimberly and Niagara,” said Wineke.

This is not the first time John Gard has allowed special interests to influence his campaign. As Assembly Speaker in the Legislature, Gard consistently allowed special interests to influence his position on important issues.

In 2006, The Capital Times wrote, “The last thing the House of Representatives needs is John Gard…Gard always chooses to put the demands of the special interests that fund his campaigns ahead of the needs of the citizens he is supposed to represent. There's no question that Gard would do the same thing in Washington.”