Star of Romney 'My Hands Didn't Build This' Ad Received Millions in Government Loans and ContractsAnd if that isn't enough, as I've discovered, Gilchrist was also a subcontractor once on a piece of public art. Public art!
... In a new TV ad, Romney features an offended New Hampshire businessman, saying, "My father's hands didn't build this company? My hands didn't build this company? My son's hands aren't building this company?"
The New Hampshire Union Leader's John DiStato today reports that in 1999 the business in question, Gilchrist Metal, "received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority 'to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment'..." In addition, in 2011, Gilchrist Metal "received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller, $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008..."
The businessman, Jack Gilchrist, also acknowledged that in the 1980s the company received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan totaling “somewhere south of” $500,000, and matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center....
From the New Hampshire Weekly section of the January 31, 1999, Boston Globe:
In Flagstaff, Ariz., pedestrians, bikers and motorists traveling the storied Route 66 now have a new view in addition to a panoramic mountainscape. "Solar Calendar," a public sculpture by Amherst's Mary Boone Wellington, is part space-age Stonehendge, part modern sundial, part pastoral night light.Presumably the sculptor got a grant -- your tax dollars, Flagstaff residents! -- to get this done, and she paid the rugged Randian individualists at Gilchrist to help make it.
The sculpture, which Wellington designed and built with the help of Advanced Energy Systems of Wilton and Gilchrist Metal Fabrication of Hudson, consists of 12 free-standing metal and plexiglass columns, ranging in height from 6 to 17 feet, each a different color symbolizing a different month....
And, um, a decade later, it's not exactly beloved by the citizenry:
A series of illuminated pillars alongside Route 66 at Postal Boulevard that cost taxpayers $50,000 several years ago is now gathering dust in a city warehouse.I'm sorry it didn't work out -- it's kind of interesting:
City officials scrapped what some in Flagstaff facetiously dubbed the "alien outhouses" on Monday after a car hit the sculpture a few weeks ago. That accident exposed a 110-volt electrical terminal, creating a public hazard, said City Architect Karl Eberhard. This was the second time a car plowed into the expensive piece of art since its installation.
Named "Solar Calendar" by artist Mary Boone Wellington, the artwork has been plagued by problems, mainly in illuminating it.
The city had brought in various experts over the years in an attempt to fix it, Eberhard said, but estimates pegged the repairs at several thousand dollars. The city also made numerous attempts to contact Wellington over the years for a consultation but never received a response from the artist.
Several attempts to relocate the piece were also explored over the years but were eventually ruled out because it would have been cost-prohibitive....
But I know it's the kind of thing that infuriates right-wingers, and makes them shoot "Boondoggle!" And Romney's guy and his colleagues helped build it.