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OPINION: Facts are clear: Romney was better choice for trailer industry, Trail King

Bruce Yakley

On Jan. 9, Mr. Owen Reitzel criticized the CEO of Trail King for suggesting to Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., on a recent visit to Mitchell, that business conditions with an Obama election versus a Romney election equated to a loss of hiring 150 new employees.

Mr. Reitzel stated "Under Obama, your business is growing, under Bush you were laying off workers. Incredible!"

Mr. Reitzel criticized Trail King for utilizing the WIN program.

Mr. Reitzel then went on to suggest that Trail King's CEO take a drug test, because someone in the audience, on a totally different topic not involving Mr. Yakley, suggested people receiving welfare should be drug tested.

Here are the facts relative to Mr. Reitzel statements:

* Fact No. 1: 2009 was the worst year in the trailer industry since 1954, the year records started to be kept. The entire trailer market dropped on average 70 percent versus 2008. In the background, the past owner of Trail King was preparing the company to sell, thus cutting very deeply into Trail King's employment. Was this the result of President Bush or years of fiscal mismanagement by "all" of our elected officials? What part did Barney Frank's efforts on developing legislation in 1992 forcing mortgage companies to lend to unqualified people play into the housing collapse?

* Fact No. 2: In 2012, Trail King's business flourished. The average age of a trailer in the U.S. was approaching nine years old, the oldest in history. The cost to refurbish outweighed the cost of replacement. The economic policies of Obama had nothing to do with the age of trailers in the U.S.

* Fact No. 3: The lack of available skilled workers regionally was a very difficult situation for Trail King. The WIN legislative program helped Trail King hire 32 skilled workers, at a cost to the state of $122,400 and a cost to Trail King of $144,000. Mr. Reitzel, what is the Mitchell regional economic impact of 32 new families earning a compensation total of $2 million annually?

* Fact No. 4: Obama issued an executive order in April 2012 effectively shutting down new oil and gas exploration utilizing hydraulic fracking. There were 80 jobs tied to pneumatic trailer production that Trail King builds for this industry. This executive order by Obama effectively shut down pneumatic trailer production. Mr. Romney had made statements to the effect that the Obama executive orders and regulations tied to the EPA would be reviewed and, most likely, reversed if Romney was elected.

* Fact No. 5: Trail King solicited its top 95 customers, representing 85 percent of its 2012 revenue, in October to get their 2013 requirements. Ninety percent of these customers stated they had two business plans: one if Obama got elected, one if Romney got elected. Their plans if Romney got elected were, on average, 20 percent higher (plus 70 jobs). Why? Very simple: Romney would have "pro-growth policies" and Obama has "socialist, entitlement policies."

* Fact No. 6: Mr. Yakley had been part of a drug testing program at his former employer for five years. Mr. Yakley had to take a drug test before he was hired at Trail King.

Yakley is new to the community and doesn't know Mr. Reitzel. His life is engrossed in leading Trail King and trying to integrate his family into the Mitchell community. After reading Mr. Reitzel's letter to the editor, Yakley did some research on Mr. Reitzel; it then became clear why Mr. Reitzel seemed offended.

The above statements are the facts behind Mr. Yakley's statement to Sen. Thune. When opinions expressed don't contain facts, you essentially get misinformation. Mr. Reitzel's letter to the editor on Jan. 9 was full of misinformation and opinion without regard for facts. It is obvious that Mr. Reitzel does not understand the trailer market or Trail King's business.

Bruce D. Yakley is president and CEO of Trail King Industries, Mitchell.