As Hurricane Issac rages near Tampa the GOP is arriving there for their Aug. 27-30 convention, and while Issac's closeness may prevent some of the protests that come with Republican conventions, more motivated protestors aren't being deterred.
One such protestor is Tom Gaulrapp, 52, from Freeport, Ill.. Gaulrapp says he and co-workers are losing their jobs because the Sensata Technologies plant they work in - it produces state-of-the-art automotive sensors - is being closed. By the end of this year his job, and that of others, will be outsourced to China by Bain Capital, the company Mitt Romney began and from which he still profits .
Gaulrapp told Associated Press reporter Tamara Lush that standing in a political protest at a GOP convention is not something that he thought he'd ever do. "But then again," he told Lush. "We wouldn't have dreamed our jobs would have gone to China."
Gaulapp and others losing jobs
Employees from Sensata will not only lose their work, many will have to, and already have had to, train personal from China who'll be doing their jobs over there. Some had worked at Sensata for 30 years and it's that backdrop motivating Gaulrapp to travel to Tampa and stand in bad weather to protest. He's protested other Republican and Romney gatherings the past few months and says he will keep protesting right up until the election.
The hope is that Mitt Romney will speak with them and use his influence with the company that he continues to make money off of to keep the jobs in Freeport. In July the Freeport City Council passed a resolution that calls for Romney to do just that but he has not responded to their entreaties. Further, a petition signed by over 35,000 was delivered to Bain Capital.
Gaulrapp says that regardless of Hurricane Issac he and three other Sensata employees intend to stick it out and have their voice heard. “We are under a time constraint,” he told the Freeport Journal-Standard before leaving for Tampa. “After the election none of this will matter.
"The outsourcing will continue, but unfortunately, no one will care.”