Out of Touch: Brunner’s New Ad Ignores Vi-Jon Lay-Offs

Ad Shot on Vi-Jon’s Factory Floor, Brunner Took $400,000 Salary While Laying Off Dozens of Missouri Workers

Jefferson City, Mo.—Just days after revealing he doesn’t know the minimum wage, John Brunner further underscored how out of touch he is by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on another misleading ad today, shot on the same factory floor where Brunner recently laid off dozens of Missouri workers while taking nearly $400,000 in salary.

"Just when you thought John Brunner couldn’t be more out of touch, he opens his mouth and says something even more offensive. John Brunner filmed another misleading ad on the same factory floor where he just laid off dozens of workers while taking a $400,000 salary,” said Caitlin Legacki, Missouri Democratic Party spokeswoman. “A real ‘citizen Senator’ would understand this ad is an insult to the men and women recently laid-off at Vi-Jon, but I guess that goes to show John Brunner is just too out of touch. You really have to wonder how many jobs could have been saved at Vi-Jon with the $1.1 million John Brunner's spent on misleading attack ads."

On Friday, Brunner told KMOX radio host Charlie Brennan he doesn’t know the current minimum wage, but does think it’s too high. Brunner, worth more than $100 million, has spent at least $2 million of his own money on this campaign, including $1.1 million in attack ads.

 

BACKGROUND
 
Brunner Was Paid $372,000 by Vi-Jon in 2011. According to his personal financial disclosure, Brunner received $372,000 in salary from Vi-Jon in 2011. [Brunner Personal Financial Disclosure, Filed 2/2/12]
Brunner's Net Worth As Much as $108 Million. According to his personal financial disclosure, Brunner's net worth is as much as $108 million. [Brunner Personal Financial Disclosure, Filed 2/2/12]
 
October 2011: Vi-Jon Commissioned Round Of Layoffs. Reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Political Fix, “The campaign website for Republican businessman turned U.S. Senate hopeful John Brunner dubs him ‘John the Job Creator.’ But, less than a month after Brunner's kick-off, his company has joined the long list of firms adding to the nation's unemployment toll. An official for Vi-Jon, which produces the hand sanitizer Germ-X, confirmed Thursday the Vinita Park company did commission a round of layoffs this week. ‘We did have a reduction in force and as a matter of policy we don't talk about personnel matters,’ said Scott Wilson, Vi-Jon's chief human resource office. ‘We are a privately held company.’” [Political Fix, St. Louis Post-Dispatch10/27/11]
Headline: Germ-Ex: Senate hopeful Brunner's company trims workforce. [Political Fix, St. Louis Post-Dispatch,10/27/11]
 
Layoffs “Not Good News For A Rookie Candidate Whose Platform Focuses On Experience Creating Jobs.” Reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Political Fix, “Even so, the layoffs are not good news for a rookie candidate whose platform focuses on experience creating jobs. It might also take away some luster from his campaign slogan: ‘Get America Working Again.’” [Political Fix, St. Louis Post-Dispatch10/27/11]
  
National Journal On Vi-Jon Layoffs: “Not The Story Brunner Would Want To See In … A Campaign In Which He’s Trying To Tout His Business Acumen.” Reported the National Journal, “Once your campaign website dubs you ‘John the Job Creator,’ the optics of your own company announcing a round of layoffs are not good. That's the situation Missouri Republican Senate candidate John Brunner is facing. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Brunner's company, Vi-Jon, commissioned a round of layoffs this week. . . . Not the story Brunner would want to see in the early stages of a campaign in which he's trying to tout his business acumen.” [National Journal10/27/11]
 
Brunner Misleadingly Cites “Officers Eat Last” Mentality in His Leadership Philosophy. In February 2012, Brunner told PoliticMo: “In the Marine Corps, the senior officers eat last… [At Vi Jon], when had tough times, we started at the top, and worked our way down...The politicians must put the needs of the citizens ahead of their own.” [PoliticMo, 2/28/12]