*** UPDATE *** Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman spoke publicly for the first time today about that now infamous letter he sent to Gov. Pat Quinn…
The chief executive of Caterpillar Inc. again criticized the business climate in the heavy equipment maker’s home state of Illinois on Wednesday, but downplayed reports that it might leave.
“Legislators in Illinois have created an environment that is unfriendly to business and investment. At Caterpillar we want to help and lead a change in that climate,” said Douglas Oberhelman at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event. […]
At the chamber event, Oberhelman said headlines suggesting Caterpillar might leave the state were misleading.
“That’s not really what I said,” he told the chamber. “I actually said I was looking forward to finding a way to invest more in Illinois and change the business climate. Illinois is our home.”
Notice that Oberhelman once again blames legislators, not the governor, for the problems. Also take note that he repeated his claim that he wants to find a way to invest more here, not less.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* I haven’t seen the now infamous letter from Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman to Gov. Pat Quinn actually posted in its entirety So, here it is. Pay close attention to the third paragraph, which has received the least amount of media coverage…
Dear Governor Quinn:
Caterpillar has been proud to call Illinois home for over 75 years. Personally I grew up in Woodstock, Illinois, and aside from a few years out of the country for my work at Caterpillar, I have lived here my whole life. Before, I never really considered living anywhere else, and certainly never considered the possibility of Caterpillar relocating. But I have to admit, the policymakers in Springfield seem to make it harder by the day.
I’ve included just three of the several letters from Governors across the country that I have been receiving. They are welcoming Caterpillar to their states with open arms, and they make compelling arguments. I have been called, “cornered” in meetings and “wined and dined” - the heat is on.
You’ve always been honest with me, and that’s why I want you to know about these letters. I’m not sending them to you as a threat that Caterpillar is leaving Illinois. I want to stay here. And as our business grows, I’d like to invest more here - Illinois has always been the heart of Caterpillar. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what’s right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest. The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business, and I’d like to work with you to change that. Frankly, we need to re-structure this State’s business from top to bottom. I think you know that.
This is a firm letter, no doubt, but it’s also quite respectful and even complimentary of the governor. What it clearly isn’t is a dire threat to move the company out of state anytime soon, or a blatant diss of Gov. Quinn.
Oberhelman seems to genuinely want to work with Quinn to find solutions to the state’s problems. The Cat CEO has taken some heat from the Left for grubbing for money or whatever other advantage he could get here, but that doesn’t appear justified when reading the complete letter.
* Also, if you’ve been wondering how the letter became public, it was cc’d to several politicians, including Congressman Aaron Schock, Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno, House Republican Leader Tom Cross, Speaker Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and Quinn’s chief of staff Jack Lavin. I’d bet any money that one of them leaked it. Caterpillar’s spokesman has said the letter was meant to be private.
* Meanwhile, Quinn is sticking with the Leftie rhetoric…
For governors cutting education and health care and going after public-sector employees to balance budgets, here’s a message from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn: You’re wrong. Not mistaken, not misinformed.
“Just plain wrong,” said Quinn, 62, during a March 22 interview in his Chicago office. “I don’t buy into all these radical cuts in government as a way to make life better for ordinary, everyday people.” […]
Quinn says he has made plenty of unpleasant decisions, including raising the retirement age for public employees, putting new hires into a 401(k) retirement plan and altering the Medicaid system.
“I’m not going to get our state out of the hole that it’s in in terms of the economy by just severe cuts in education,” Quinn said. “Lay off teachers? What’s that all about? Is that going to help us?
* Lawmakers defend tax hike, express concern for CAT
* Editorial: Cat not leaving today, tomorrow, hopefully not ever, but Illinois should take nothing for granted
* Roskam: High taxes have consequences
* Caterpillar’s Alarm Bell For Illinois
* Could Caterpillar end up in metro Sioux City?