Politics & Policy

Protectionist Strickland Administration Faces Outsourcing Scandal

Recently, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has been making hay out of his opposition to outsourcing and shipping American jobs overseas. So this news can’t be welcome:

An Ohio Department of Development official resigned Tuesday amid an investigation into federal stimulus money that went to an overseas call center.

The resignation follows a preliminary review regarding a Texas company hired to administer Ohio’s $11 million appliance rebate program, department Director Lisa Patt-McDaniel told WCMH-TV for a story on the Columbus station’s website. Lewisville, Texas-based Parago Inc. used workers in El Salvador to process applications and answer customer calls.

The resignation of Nadeane Howard, director of the department’s energy resources division, is effective immediately.

Patt-McDaniel said an e-mail to Howard in February, before the contract with Parago was final, raised a question about the company’s potential outsourcing of jobs. She said Howard did not recall it when approached about a month later.

“Gov. (Ted) Strickland and I are opposed to using offshore labor, and I am extremely disappointed to learn that a key leader in my department was not more sensitive to the priorities of this administration,” Patt-McDaniel said.

So the big question is, where is Strickland on this? Granted, this news only broke yesterday, but for such an anti-trade firebrand, Strickland’s been mysteriously silent, especially considering that Ohio is going to have almost $900 million more dollars dumped on it soon, and Strickland’s going to have to prove that he can handle that money wisely.

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