Much of the debate in the heated 12th district special election has focused on Republican Tim Burns' business background. His campaign is using it to argue he's a successful, proven job creator for the area. Democrat Mark Critz is saying Burns sold his software company, TechRx, to get rich and sold out his employees.
According to 2003 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission -- first researched by the DCCC -- by NDC Health, the company that bought TechRx, the merger resulted in the elimination of 58 management jobs companywide. It's unclear how many of these jobs were in Western Pennsylvania, as the company had operations in Atlanta; Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.; Rockville, Md.; and Vancouver as well, Burns campaign spokesman Kent Gates said. But Gates, though he didn't have specific figures, said the operations in Moon near the Pittsburgh International Airport actually grew after the merger.
The dispute, in a race that seems to grow more vicious by the day, stems in part from a brief passage in Dennis Roddy's excellent piece from Sunday breaking down the race: "Democrats also accuse Mr. Burns of selling his software company, something he did, causing its jobs to leave the area. Mr. Burns insists the purchaser expanded operations at the industrial park outside Pittsburgh International Airport, though he ducks the issue of whether any jobs were lost in the shift."