Brian Flynn, the No.2 “carpetbagger,” is the most focused of all the candidates on creating jobs for NY-19, so let’s look at his business track record, as well as his finances, and his integrity as well. The Hudson Valley Chronogram reports, “some have pointed to Flynn’s business history as an example of his tainted record.” “Besides having held many lucrative executive positions,” including founding partner of Schlossberg Flynn, CEO of Annotate Technologies, President of RLM Public Relations, and Vice President of Citigroup, responsible for all advertising, marketing, and PR for Citibank, “Flynn has also been faulted for the fact that one of his companies outsourced jobs.” A November 3, 2015 article in the Triad Business Journal reported, “A Buffalo, NY-based medical products company will move its corporate headquarters to Mocksville, North Carolina, creating as many as 75 jobs there. AccuMED Corp. will invest $3.5 million to take over and renovate the former Ventlab building, a 78,300-square-foot structure located in Mocksville. The company will also use a $500,000 building reuse grant made available through the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority.” (A June 18, 2016 article in The Buffalo News reported that AccuMED actually received “more than $1 million in incentives from North Carolina, along with preferential financing on new equipment purchases.”) “Doug Constable, CEO of AccuMED Corp., told the Triad Business Journal that the company’s Buffalo employee base will be reduced from about 150 today to less than 10. ‘We’ll have a very small presence in Buffalo,’ he said, adding that it will be closing its facility in Buffalo. The company is planning to transfer about 65 jobs presently in Buffalo to the Dominican Republic,where AccuMED houses 1,500 employees and the MAJORITY of its manufacturing operations. (My emphasis).The last 10 will stay in Buffalo. ‘Some of the functions that we did in Buffalo we are going to transfer to the Dominican Republic, he said.’” The Buffalo News further reports that the roots of the move can be traced partly to “the gradual shift over time of most of the company’s manufacturing work to the Dominican Republic. As a result, an employment base that numbered several hundred in Western New York at one point had already dwindled to about 75. That will leave it with fewer than 10 “key employees” in Buffalo who “weren’t able to relocate” and are now moving into a new, smaller leased office on Walden Avenue, Constable said.” The reason given for the move was that North Carolina is “a better place to recruit professional talent. Buffalo is a beautiful city, but we just struggled to get engineers and other professionals who weren’t familiar with the area to think that was where they wanted to relocate their family.” Today, the company has about $100 million in annual sales, and employs nearly 1,700 overall, Constable said. It also uses a subcontractor in China and Taiwan. But the bulk of its operations are in Dominican Republic, where it employs 1,600. “We’ve grown a lot. The company has experienced tremendous growth,” Constable said. It should be noted that both the Triad and Buffalo News articles only mention AccuMED CEO Doug Constable, and not Brian Flynn, who was President and COO of AccuMED during this period while Constable was CEO. (Again, my emphasis). Political and National Affairs writer Matt Taibi reports in the June 2018 issue of Rolling Stone’sarticle “The Battle of Woodstock Part II” that in December 2016, AccuMED was sold off for $149 million to a Michigan-based company called Lear. Rival candidate Jeff Beals believes Flynn personally profited from the export of New York jobs, which Flynn denies”. “Like many other employees, my stock options vested when [the] Lear Corporation bought the company,” Flynn replied when asked about this. “I received appropriate compensation from AccuMED in the neighborhood of $1 million, but nowhere near $146 million.” Flynn also defends his sizable Dominican Republic employee base by saying: “”Like most Democrats, I believe in the fair trade movement. In fact, Mr. Beals suggested recently that we need to help with economic development in Latin American countries in order to decrease undocumented immigration. That is exactly what we did in the Dominican Republic: We created hundreds of good paying jobs for people previously living in extreme poverty.” Taibi continues: “Flynn is likable in person. He has an effortless delivery and would be exceedingly marketable to liberal audiences as a businessman with a conscience. But ‘I created jobs in the Dominican Republic to help decrease undocumented immigration’ is a weirdly maladroit answer to a question he’ll certainly be hit with if he makes it to the general election.”
Whew! My fellow Democrats, after reading all of that, does AccuMED sound like a “small business” to you? Does Mr. Flynn sound like a candidate who will put job creation for NY19 ahead of his profit motive and that of his stockholders? Mr. Flynn touts on his website that he’s “the only candidate with a proven track record of creating hundreds of good-paying American jobs”– he just fails to mention that they are in North Carolina, and not in New York. North Carolina is also a “right to work” state, meaning anti-union, a fact that disputes Flynn’s claim that he is pro-union, and renders irrelevant the fact that his great uncle Michael J. Quill co-founded the Transport Workers Union. Flynn also recently spent money to hire “SKDKickerbocker,” a classic political consulting firm. “Flynn is the number two fundraiser as of June 6, having raised $1,520,806, though half of that comes from self-funding (no surprise there, considering how rich he’s become from all of his lucrative business ventures), which he argues means he’s beholden to no interests other than the voters. He is also rich enough to send me TWELVE expensive, multi-page, glossy campaign flyers, the last three bas Delgado and Pat Ryan. I think Flynn, like Delgado, does not believe “getting big money out of politics” applies to his campaign. I also think he is too rich to relate to us working class voters. (Can anyone direct me to the webpage that shows a photo or video of him advocating for “getting big money out of politics” while wearing a $9,000 Rolex watch?)
Moreover, what about Flynn’s personal integrity? theotherhudsonvalley.com reports that Flynn’s AccuMED associate Doug Constable“is being sued in civil court for fraud and civil conspiracy stemming from his involvement in a company called “Outcome Solutions,” which he helped lead before being recruited to work with Flynn.” Constable described the company as ‘mostly being involved in consulting work.’ Flynn ‘received $479,000 in ‘Business income/consulting fees’ in 2016 from Outcome Solutions — more than he received that year for being President of AccuMED, according to his financial disclosure.”Flynn also faces tough “questions about his short history as a full-time resident in a District where many voters dismissed the Democratic nominees in 2014 and 2016 as carpetbaggers. The Albany Times Union reports “Flynn is a fairly new full-time resident to Elka Park, a hamlet in Greene County. On his campaign website, both the residency and jobs issues were once addressed at length, but those explanations have been removed. “Candidates’ residency histories are of secondary concern for voters, he said.”“That doesn’t matter,” Flynn said. “What have you done in life? What are you going to do for me?” When President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, Flynn was still only registered to vote at an apartment in Manhattan, a borough where he had been a voter for many years. He changed his registration to his current Greene County address on November 29, 2016.” His website currently states that he was born in Rochester and grew up in New Jersey. So apparently, he is referring to his grandparents and his great uncle when he talks about “deep roots” in Greene County.