The Facts on Bill Foster & ETC

Wow. Somebody really got his facts wrong.

Foster’s ads claim he is also a businessman who does not outsource anything to foreigners, and I was curious as to what kind of business he has. According to his Web site (, the company is Electronic Theatre Controls Inc. However, in contrast to his attacks on Oberweis for dealings with Asians and taking U.S. jobs, the Electronic Theatre Controls Inc. Web site proudly lists the company’s 1995 accomplishments as: “ETC expands into Asia with opening of Hong Kong office” and “ETC expands into Europe, acquiring the lighting control division of London-based distributor ARRI GB.” How hypocritical!

ETC has over 600 employees and more than 500 of them are employed at its plant in Middleton, Wisconsin–most in good old-fashioned manufacturing jobs. The foreign jobs are in sales and distribution of products made in the USA.

From the Foster site:

When he was 19, Bill and his younger brother Fred started a business from scratch in their basement. Starting with $500 from their parents, they built a company that now manufactures over half of the theater lighting equipment in the United States. Their company’s equipment is used on Broadway shows, Rolling Stones tours, the great Opera houses, half-time shows at the Super-Bowl, and at churches, schools, and community theatres throughout the country. Their company sells millions of dollars of equipment all over the world and provides hundreds of good jobs – with good pay and benefits – here in the Midwest.