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Buck Knives is moving on to Idaho; costs cited (Energy, Work Comp & Politics)
The San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | January 15, 2003 | Matthew T. Hall

Posted on 01/15/2003 9:51:04 AM PST by Robert357

Buck Knives, one of the county's landmark businesses, said yesterday that it is leaving California and will move to Idaho early next year.

President and CEO C.J. Buck said California's rising cost of business forced the hand of the family, which has run the company for 100 years. He said that in April, too, when first discussing a possible move.

Buck said no more than a quarter of his 250 employees will move to the plant in Post Falls, Idaho. He said no layoffs will come this year, and added the company has not set a moving date beyond the first quarter of 2004.

Last year, Buck Knives celebrated its century mark. It was founded in Kansas in 1902, moved to San Diego after World War II and settled in El Cajon in 1968. Its knives are sold internationally and are favorites among outdoorsmen.

Buck, who was 8 when the company moved to El Cajon, said his father, Chuck Buck, made the final decision to leave the city late last week.

C.J. Buck credited local politicians and business leaders with working hard to retain the company in the spring, but said that after November's statewide elections the family didn't envision the business climate getting better in California.

East County Supervisor Diane Jacob said the problems faced by the company are "breaking the backs of businesses in this state."

"I think this is just the beginning of the exodus of businesses in the state unless there are sweeping reforms in the way we treat businesses," Jacob said.

Terry Saverson, head of the East County Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the departure of Buck Knives illustrates all businesses are having trouble with state laws and regulations. She said she knows of several businesses that are feeling pressure to leave.

El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis said he hoped the departure would not create a domino effect, noting that some local businesses are suppliers to Buck Knives.

The company has struggled over the years, facing increased competition in an international market. Annual sales are off 25 percent since 1995. Twenty years ago, the company had 600 employees, more than twice what it has now.

The 10 acres the company owns near Gillespie Field went up for sale again yesterday at an asking price of $9 million. It was on the market last year, but the family took it off when no one made an offer.

Phil Duckett, the company's vice president of operations, said its new 12-acre home cost about $800,000.

The land price is but one of the incentives that Idaho offered Buck Knives. The company will receive $3,000 per employee from the state for training. In addition, wages, benefits, utilities and workers' compensation costs are much lower than California's, Duckett said.

In Idaho, the company's energy costs could fall 60 percent, workers' compensation costs 40 percent, and wages and benefits 20 percent, compared with here. Executives said they expect to employ the same number of people.

Duckett said the company's annual savings would be in the millions of dollars, but he declined to be more specific.

The company chose Idaho over states, such as Washington and Oregon, because it had the "best long-term, business-friendly legislative environment," Buck said.

He said the news disappointed but did not surprise workers. Buck told them yesterday to give them as much time as possible to find other jobs if they wanted to start looking.

"We ran the risk of giving too much notice and possibly losing people while we still needed them," he said. "That's a chance we decided to take."

The company is considering bonuses and incentives for workers who decide to stay to the end, Buck said.

He summed up his thoughts on the move, saying: "I adore East County, so it's very sad to have to make this decision that we have to relocate. On the other hand, Idaho is beautiful."


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; US: California; US: Idaho; US: Oregon; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: antibusiness; calpowercrisis
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You know it is amazing what is said in this article! It should be a wake up call for politicians in California, Washington, and Oregon!

...after November's statewide elections the family didn't envision the business climate getting better in California.

In Idaho, the company's energy costs could fall 60 percent, workers' compensation costs 40 percent, and wages and benefits 20 percent, compared with here. Executives said they expect to employ the same number of people.

Duckett said the company's annual savings would be in the millions of dollars, but he declined to be more specific.

The company chose Idaho over states, such as Washington and Oregon, because it had the "best long-term, business-friendly legislative environment," Buck said.

1 posted on 01/15/2003 9:51:04 AM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
The far left coast (CA, OR, and WA) are undoubtedly the last and worst place for businesses these days. The economically illiterate idiots are in charge in all three states.
2 posted on 01/15/2003 9:54:52 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Robert357; snopercod; Ernest_at_the_Beach; NormsRevenge; Dog Gone; Grampa Dave; lewislynn
I thought that you might enjoy this article!

"In Idaho, the company's energy costs could fall 60 percent, workers' compensation costs 40 percent, and wages and benefits 20 percent, compared with here. ....annual savings would be in the millions of dollars"

Yes, there are limits to what a state can extract from a business before it will leave and energy costs are included within the equation of moving.

3 posted on 01/15/2003 9:55:11 AM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
Buck is smart. There is no reason why a company should remain in California to be assessed the cost of welfare services and political correctness there.
4 posted on 01/15/2003 9:55:37 AM PST by RLK
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To: All
Excellent. If you own stock in a California based company make sure you email Investor Relations and ask that they leave.
5 posted on 01/15/2003 9:56:55 AM PST by AdamSelene235
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To: RLK
Atlas has shrugged.
6 posted on 01/15/2003 9:57:40 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Robert357
My wife has two Buck Knives that I gave her. Pity the poor fellow who gets after her if one of them is in reach...
7 posted on 01/15/2003 9:59:22 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: Robert357
The only left to do that he hasn't done is advertise for illegal aliens to take over the new Idaho jobs and lower wage costs even below the stated 20% drop.
8 posted on 01/15/2003 9:59:26 AM PST by lobo59
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To: meadsjn; Noumenon; artisan001
FYI for you boys up north (Post Falls area). May be some opportunity here for operations, analysts, manufacturing, engineering, IS, etc.

One year out is probably a good time to make contacts and get dialog going if interested.

9 posted on 01/15/2003 9:59:48 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: dfwgator
Must not disturb the lives and sensitivities of California state employees...
10 posted on 01/15/2003 10:02:21 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Robert357
No doubt they'll pass the savings on to customers. ;-)

California is going to lose a lot more businesses like this one. Unfortunately, 'rats are willing to transform California to an agrarian economy, with no industry and with the most fertile farmland in the state environmentally roped off from agricultural use. They won't stop until they've turned the state into another North Korea.

11 posted on 01/15/2003 10:02:22 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: Robert357
Maybe this is the beginning of the salvo? Communist Davis is intent on extracting more and more and more............
12 posted on 01/15/2003 10:03:22 AM PST by hardhead
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To: Robert357
Nothing to do with the point of the article, but... I never knew where the term "Buck Knife" came from.

I don't know what I thought it was, but it wasn't a brand name.

13 posted on 01/15/2003 10:04:50 AM PST by TontoKowalski
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To: Robert357
I live in El Cajon just a few miles from Buck. I know the Buck family; we meet regularly through the East County Chamber. It saddens me beyond words to hear that they are leaving, though I dio understand their reasoning.

Energy costs for my company have ballooned by $8,000 a month in recent years. Buck's rose nearly $25,000.

Chalk another one up for the failed policies of gray davis and liberalism.

14 posted on 01/15/2003 10:05:08 AM PST by South40
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To: LibWhacker
No doubt they'll pass the savings on to customers. ;-)

The knife field is lot's more competitive than it was in the 70's when every other guy had a 110 Floding Hunter hanging off their belt.

15 posted on 01/15/2003 10:05:13 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Another disturbed youth makes good!)
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To: AdamSelene235
...email Investor Relations and ask that they leave.

That's a little harsh. There is no reason to "attack" California or companies that want to reside there.

I do think that economics and "business climate" should dictate the decision as to where a company locates. I also think that companies owe it to their stockholders to re-evaluate that question every so often. An example is Boeing that moved its long-time headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. Having some business (and their employees) move out of Southern California could solve Air Pollution, lack of water, lack of new power plants, and a host of other problems that legislators don't want to deal with.

I do think that this article and decisions like this at various companies should be a wake up call for legislators and politicians who feel that they can impose any burden upon business and not worry about the results.

16 posted on 01/15/2003 10:05:22 AM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357; EBUCK; blackie; Shermy; BOBTHENAILER; Carry_Okie; tubebender; RonDog; NormsRevenge; ...
Excellent article! Thanks for posting it and the ping!

Mr Buck singled out your state Washington and of course the state between you and I, Oregone into Enviral Depression, as states not to move to.

What he did not mention is the anti business attitude, behavior and actions 24/7 of the Watermelon Jihadists who basically control the energy policies of these 3 states. These Watermelon Jihadists hate capitalism and work 24/7 to harm and destroy capitalism.

Idaho and Nevada could really become the hot states to move a business to in this decade. As California, Oregone and Washington become economically depressed enviral third world states.

17 posted on 01/15/2003 10:07:08 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Support Free Republic. Become a monthly donor ! End The Freepathons!)
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To: Robert357
I'm sad to see this in some ways, but it's also vindication of the predictions many of us have been making.

California Democrats have been working overtime to make the state hostile to businesses, and this is what naturally results.

Of course, we're hearing from them that this is all George Bush's fault.

18 posted on 01/15/2003 10:09:00 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Robert357
Yes, there are limits to what a state can extract from a business before it will leave and energy costs are included within the equation of moving.

And from individuals as well. Thirty five years ago before these moves became common; I had a fishing mold maker who moved his busines to Idaho.

When I finally got a hold of him, I asked him what he was doing there. He said he sold his house and for half the price got a better one in Idaho, and since he liked to hunt and fish this was heaven to him.

Also since his customers do not come in the door but use the telephone and mail to tell him what they want made, he can do that from anywhere in the country so he chose a place he could operate out of economically and enjoy the outdoors.

I have been in every state in the lower 48 and I liked Idaho. My Problem is I love being on the ocean and am happy where I am. - Tom

19 posted on 01/15/2003 10:09:49 AM PST by Capt. Tom
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To: Grampa Dave
My bet would be on Nevada.
Off topic a bit, but I gotta think being a Buck Knife salesman would be kind of tough these days. Imagine your sample case at the local airport...
20 posted on 01/15/2003 10:11:01 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Robert357
Very Smart Move by Bucks Knives !

California is a tax rip off by the Dims for the Dims with a Dimwitted Governor .... They will drive all the major corporations out of the state to support their welfare voter base of very Dim voters. They are busy raising taxes across the board. Smart Californians will pull up stakes and 'jump on the bus, Gus' to move out of state .... Quickly! I mean, put the house up for sale and make a bee line for any border, but the one further South. [The Mexicans are taking over anyway .... ] Get out of Dodge! I mean yesterday ...... Adios, via con Dios!

Dim Davis will be shocked again to *discover* at the end of his second term the State of Califoria will be about $ 100 billion in the hole. All the money thrown down a RAThole to support DemonRATS ... He will be crying over all the high earning jobs and high earning people that fled the state for greener pastures. Idaho wins, CA is caught in deeper and deeper Ka-Ka ...

When Davis came into office the state was over $ 2 billion in the black. Who would'a thought ... Idiots elect idiots!

21 posted on 01/15/2003 10:11:29 AM PST by ex-Texan (Tag! Over to you ....)
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To: Robert357
Politics aside, I own several Buck knives ... purchased over 25 years ago when I lived in southern CA. Kitchen knives, hunting knife, yachtsman pocket knife ... all still in remarkably good condition. Their knives are top quality ... something worthy of being handed down from one generation to the next.
22 posted on 01/15/2003 10:13:01 AM PST by BluH2o
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To: Robert357
That's a little harsh. There is no reason to "attack" California or companies that want to reside there.

I don't want my dollars used to subsidize the spread of Marxism.

23 posted on 01/15/2003 10:13:45 AM PST by AdamSelene235
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To: Jeff Head
Roger that - I'm all over it.
24 posted on 01/15/2003 10:13:55 AM PST by Noumenon
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
The Buck Knife salesreps probably drive Humvees or least some big old V8 SUV.
25 posted on 01/15/2003 10:15:13 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Support Free Republic. Become a monthly donor ! End The Freepathons!)
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To: Robert357
"We ran the risk of giving too much notice and possibly losing people while we still needed them," he said. "That's a chance we decided to take."

Yep. Another one of them eeeevil biznissmen "interested only in profit."

It's your loss California.

26 posted on 01/15/2003 10:16:02 AM PST by Carry_Okie (A faith in Justice, none in "fairness")
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To: Grampa Dave
Well, that's pretty much true, although, to be fair, I have to point out that our new Democrat governor in Oregon has produced a budget that actually cuts spending. Many conservative pundits have actually said that they don't think that a budget this tight could have been proposed by a Republican, as the left would have gone ballistic and used the power of the media to defeat it.

As it is, the public employee unions are griping a bit, but it's not getting that much play.

Kulongoski still favors passing the Measure 28 (income) tax "temporary" increase, but his budget does not assume passage of that. And, he said he will not ask the Legislature or the voters for any additional taxes during this "business cycle."

So, at least to some degree, he seems to understand that raising taxes is not a real good thing to do when the economy is weak.

I still am very suspicious of this guy, but, so far, he's a heck of a lot better than the last idiot.

27 posted on 01/15/2003 10:16:50 AM PST by B Knotts
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To: Grampa Dave
Just don't move to Boise, Idaho. If you do, Mayor (hopefully soon to be recalled RINO) Coles will welcome you with one hand, and try to tax the living he!! out of you with the other.
28 posted on 01/15/2003 10:17:11 AM PST by IYAS9YAS
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To: Robert357
I have a Buck in my pocket right now...Always have, Always will...They don't make a better knife in it's price range...

I hope the move is for survival, and not for just a larger bottom line...At least they are not going to Mexico or China...That's a real big plus...

They'd best be going to Cor d' Alaine (sp)...That may the only town in Idaho with enough people to employ...:)
29 posted on 01/15/2003 10:17:33 AM PST by Iscool (it can be pretty painful, even if you're the winner)
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To: Robert357
Plus, on top of the other savings, he's selling the plant's land for $9,000,000 and buying an equal number of acres for $800,000. Even if he doesn't get his asking price, that's a fair amount of capital to free up and put to productive use.
30 posted on 01/15/2003 10:18:36 AM PST by Cicero
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To: Carry_Okie
Now if we could only get three or four hundred more business to leave, say within a time period of one month. Now that would truly get some attention.
31 posted on 01/15/2003 10:19:32 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: Robert357
Alternate Title: Buck makes a Smart Move.
32 posted on 01/15/2003 10:19:42 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Tag Line Service Center: FREE Tag Line with Every Monthly Donation to FR. Get Yours. Inquire Within)
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To: Grampa Dave
Former Governor Turnbuckle of Minnesota just took delivery of a new Humvee. The job would be perfect for him !
33 posted on 01/15/2003 10:20:26 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Robert357
Many other companies will follow. California may be in for hard times in the very near future.
34 posted on 01/15/2003 10:20:39 AM PST by Destructor
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To: Robert357; anniegetyourgun
I tried for two years to expand my mail order nursery business here in Western Washington. We hit one wall after another, so my business partner bought me out and moved to Post Falls last year. He immediately hired 50 workers and will be increasing payroll again this year.

We're, (Washington State), going down the tubes. Yesterday the teachers union persuaded the states schools to close so they could go to Olympia and protest for an income tax. 25,000 teachers and useful idiots converged on the capital. I'm sure it will back fire. We've had enough.
35 posted on 01/15/2003 10:21:13 AM PST by bigfootbob
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To: IYAS9YAS
I hope they get her out of there too, along with a few other local and state people. I stay over here in Emmett as much as I can ... and run my business from here.

There's a real liberal PC attitude setting in around Boise IMHO ... not too surprising with all the politicians and the University there I guess, but very out of place in most of rest of the state just the same.

36 posted on 01/15/2003 10:24:16 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Fiddlstix
Alternate alternate title: American Company Moves Back to America.
37 posted on 01/15/2003 10:25:28 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (:))
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To: Destructor
Many other companies will follow. California may be in for hard times in the very near future.

And this is exactly what I am personally hoping for. Total business collapse, hugh exodus out, as the leftist squirm....With 4 years left in office, Gray Davis, the AH from New York, will be left holding the bag.....

38 posted on 01/15/2003 10:27:25 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: Grampa Dave
Idaho and Nevada could really become the hot states to move a business to in this decade. As California, Oregone and Washington become economically depressed enviral third world states.

My Job search is covering all of Idaho and very specific parts of Oregon...Oregon is doomed just like Washington and Kali and I'm planning on getting my family out before the real collapse hits (the current one is still proped up with 90's leftovers).

39 posted on 01/15/2003 10:27:32 AM PST by EBUCK (....reloading....praparing to FIRE!!!)
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To: EBUCK
You would be a natural to go to work for Buck Knife!:)
40 posted on 01/15/2003 10:31:13 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Support Free Republic. Become a monthly donor ! End The Freepathons!)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Alternate alternate title: American Company Moves Back to America.

I like yours better LOL

41 posted on 01/15/2003 10:31:31 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Tag Line Service Center: FREE Tag Line with Every Monthly Donation to FR. Get Yours. Inquire Within)
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To: B Knotts
I still am very suspicious of this guy,

I'm kind of in the same boat...what is he doing? He's acting more conservative than the guy he ran against! His base must be seething, or making excuses like it's a "strategy" in the same fashion we rationalize some of Bush's policy..

I hope Kulon follows thru.

42 posted on 01/15/2003 10:33:03 AM PST by EBUCK (....reloading....praparing to FIRE!!!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Must not disturb the lives and sensitivities of California state employees...

You hit the nail on the head with that one!
43 posted on 01/15/2003 10:33:03 AM PST by radioman
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To: EBUCK
I just hope they'll need a unix/firewall geek
44 posted on 01/15/2003 10:33:11 AM PST by john316
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To: Grampa Dave
I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if they are hiring in advance??

I've got a Buck too. But it's got a broken tip (no-one told me it wasn't a screwdriver!! LOL) so it stays home, replaced in my pocked by a knife I bought to fund that missing kids program.
45 posted on 01/15/2003 10:35:32 AM PST by EBUCK (....reloading....praparing to FIRE!!!)
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To: bigfootbob
Yesterday the teachers union persuaded the states schools to close so they could go to Olympia and protest for an income tax.

Aren't they on Salary, teachers I mean? Law Suit, misuse of tax money!

46 posted on 01/15/2003 10:37:28 AM PST by EBUCK (....reloading....praparing to FIRE!!!)
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To: ex-Texan
We moved our family business from California to the Black Hills of South Dakota back in the 1980's and have never regretted it. We moved to escape high taxation and high costs. SD offered us very low initial real estate costs, a special real estate tax incentive that continued for several years after our move, a beautiful environment and great employees. And it did not hurt one bit that SD has no state income tax.

We have found SD to be an easy place to do business where local authorities appreciate anyone who brings jobs.


47 posted on 01/15/2003 10:38:15 AM PST by Guilliamus
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To: Iscool
I have a Buck in my pocket right now...Always have, Always will..

So do I. The people of California voted for a socialist government. Buck & Co. is voting with its feet for freedom. Both social and economic. I wish them luck.

48 posted on 01/15/2003 10:38:29 AM PST by elbucko (This will go in your 201 file!)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Ain't that the truth.....the only two top grade hunting knives used to be Buck and Gerber.

Now go to any Bass Pro Shop or Cabelas and there are dozens of choices.

I don't blame them for moving. Man, everyday here we see some other sign of Kali falling in the wormhole. Whew!
49 posted on 01/15/2003 10:38:31 AM PST by wardaddy
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To: Joe Hadenuf
Actually, Joe, the enviral whackos who control Club Sierra and other enviral organizations have wanted a large part of California's business to move out for decades.

This is why they have made it basically impossible to build a new power plant while closing the older ones or restricting them to being used a few days per year. They knew over 20 years ago that not allowing new power plants to be built would create expensive electricity. Expensive electricity and taxes have all ways driven business away to lower cost areas.

If they get their way, most businesses will move out except their contributors and most farmers and ranchers will be forced to leave so the salmon and steelhead will have water.

Then only the elite Watermelon Jihadists will be left with about 7 million illegal aliens to be their low wage slaves.

The Watermelon Jihadists are more than glad to see Buck Knives and any other business leave California.
50 posted on 01/15/2003 10:39:41 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Support Free Republic. Become a monthly donor ! End The Freepathons!)
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