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Tim Bishop, Randy Altschuler trade barbs over outsourcing

Tim Bishop and Randy Altschuler hold their third

Tim Bishop and Randy Altschuler hold their third debate in their rematch in the First Congressional District. (September 27, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Danielle Finkelstein

The candidates in New York's 1st Congressional District are finding new attack lines in months-old financial disclosure statements.

In recent days the campaigns of Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and Republican challenger Randy Altschuler have each turned to their opponent's last income and assets declaration to feature a familiar issue: corporate outsourcing.

Bishop's team notes that Altschuler's investment holdings, as of his June 25 report, include as much as $500,000 in GlobalLogic stock. GlobalLogic is a Virginia company that calls itself a leader in "offshore [product] development services."

Altschuler, who has served on GlobalLogic's board, once ran OfficeTiger, which similarly allowed companies to find cheaper, off-site alternatives for certain support functions.

As the St. James businessman continues to defend OfficeTiger, his campaign -- citing Bishop's May 11 disclosure forms -- asks why the five-term incumbent hasn't decried his own outsourcing interests.

They note that many of Bishop's investments are with TIAA-CREF, a financial services company that provides retirements for public-sector education workers. (Bishop was once provost of Southampton College).

TIAA-CREF in January 2010 outsourced about 70 of its 1,400 Denver-based transaction-processing jobs to India.

"Our point here is simply to say that Tim Bishop is a hypocrite when it comes to outsourcing," said Altschuler campaign spokesman Chris Russell. "His retirement funds are invested in companies that outsource. Why isn't he jumping up and down about that?"

Bishop staffers ridiculed the comparison, saying being one of millions of TIAA-CREF account holders, with no say in how the company operates, is different from investing in an outsourcer like GlobalLogic.

"It's outrageous to call middle-class teachers outsourcers after making millions of dollars founding, running and then selling a company that's only business is outsourcing," said Bishop spokesman Robert Pierce. "Altschuler chose to . . . invest as much as $500,000 in [GlobalLogic]. The tens of thousands of Long Islanders who have this retirement account, including Rep. Bishop, have no control over its investments."

Altschuler now chairs CloudBlue Technologies, an electronics recycler with most of its 380 jobs in the United States. He and a partner sold OfficeTiger for $250 million in 2006, when it employed 4,000 people: 3,250 overseas and 750 in the United States.

Bishop, in this campaign and in 2010 -- when he edged Altschuler by 593 votes -- said his opponent got rich outsourcing American jobs. Altschuler said OfficeTiger only created jobs.

The candidates will hold their next debate, the sixth of more than a dozen, on Monday at the Sound Beach firehouse.

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