New investigations into candidate’s history undercut main pitch to voters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erik Dorey | Communications Director | press [at] dpo [dot] org | (503) 239-8624
Portland, Ore. – Less than two months after a spate of headlines forced Republican Rob Cornilles to defend his business’ failure to pay federal taxes, two separate investigative reports—published today in Willamette Week and in yesterday’s Oregonian—offer startling new details about the company and its management under Cornilles. The reports raise fresh concerns about his credibility and doubts about his viability with the crux of his campaign so badly damaged.
From day one of his candidacy, Cornilles has touted his business record as the reason Oregon voters should send him to Congress, just as he has sought to define himself by the supposed success of his company, Game Face Inc.
Just last month, in the Oregonian Voters Guide, Cornilles praised Game Face as "one of the most influential consulting and executive training firms in the sports industry – worldwide."
Reports today shattered that claim, leaving Cornilles pointing fingers at everyone but himself.
“What we’re witnessing is the unraveling of a very tall tale Rob has spun for three years as a political candidate,” said Trent Lutz, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Oregon, “but still Rob is grasping. Instead of taking responsibility for his tax failures, he blames a bookkeeper. Instead of admitting he made eager ‘trainees’ work as unpaid telemarketers, he says he doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
“We know Rob Cornilles will say anything to get elected, but how can Oregonians trust him to create jobs when he’s been so dishonest about his own?”
New revelations in the two reports include:
- The supposed world-renowned company has only a shuttered office, which has been vacant since 2008, and just four full-time employees working from home.
- After inquiries from Willamette Week about why Game Face’s business registration had been allowed to expire, Cornilles tried to re-register with a post-office box instead of a physical address.
- A former Game Face employee admitted the company’s business model was “triple-dipping” — collecting entrance fees from trainees, commissions from tickets sold by trainees, and placement fees from companies that potentially hired them.
- Cornilles skirted the law by using unpaid trainees primarily to generate revenue, for which he paid cash settlements, according to an administrator for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the agency that mediated the issue in 2003. "The laws are designed to keep employers from taking advantage of eager trainees by luring them into unpaid work," the administrator told The Oregonian.