William Harrison Binnie
February 2, 1958 |
Scotland, United Kingdom
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
William Harrison "Bill" Binnie is a New Hampshire industrialist and investment banker, currently president of Carlisle Capital Corporation, president of media company New Hampshire 1 Network and owner of Carlisle One Media, and Chairman of the Finance Committee for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee. He also made an unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination for the U. S. Senate in 2010. He was formerly chairman of Carlisle Plastics, Inc. until that firm was sold to Tyco International in September 1996.
Binnie was born in Scotland and immigrated to the United States at the age of 5. He attended Harvard University on a scholarship. As a student, he was a research fellow for the Accounting Review, a journal on finance and accounting. Upon graduation, he attended Harvard Business School, where he served as president of the Management Consulting Club. After graduation, he took a position as a consultant at McKinsey & Co.
Fresh out of graduation from Harvard, Binnie began to make a name for himself buying and selling companies alongside a wealthy investor for whom he had been doing financial research.
Binnie acquired the assets of Polytech, a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based manufacturer of household and commercial plastics, including food storage bags and wraps, trash bags, and plastic sheeting. Polytech made the "Ruffies" brand trash bag which actor/comedian Jonathan Winters helped to make famous. Binnie also acquired American Western, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based private label manufacturer of similar products, along with four other plastics manufacturers that included a line of coat hangers. He consolidated the six companies into Carlisle Plastics, Inc., building a large corporation, employing thousands of workers. He was chairman of the board from 1985 onwards and Chief Executive Officer and President from 1985 to 1994. By 1996, he owned 62.5% of Carlisle's Class B shares making him the majority owner.
By the early 1990s, he was one of the youngest CEOs in New York Stock Exchange history and was featured in Forbes Magazine as a “whirlwind of a manager.” Carlisle Plastics was voted one of Walmart’s “Vendors of the Year”. During his tenure, the firm opened facilities in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Binnie is currently the president of Carlisle Capital Corporation, a New Hampshire investment and venture capital company. "Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $2.5 to 5 million and employs a staff of approximately 5 to 9," according to the tracking site Manta.com in 2009.
In 2010, he formed New Hampshire 1 Network and in 2011 Carlisle One Media, acquiring television station WZMY for $9.25 million and renaming it WBIN. By late 2011, he had tripled the number of employees at the station, recruiting from CBS, ESPN, and local competitor WMUR. Also purchased were Vermont television stations WVBK and WVBQ and Nashua station WYCN.
In May 2015, Bill Binnie won an award from the NH Preservation Alliance for his "rehabilitation and adaptive use" of the historic Walker School Building in Concord, NH, the site of the ratification of the US Constitution. Which "created a broadcast center for the state capital."
A lifetime driver and mechanic, Binnie drove for Lotus before forming Binnie Motorsports. He was a two-time class winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, twice as a driver and once as a team owner. He won the ALMS Petite Le Mans Road Atlanta in Georgia, as well as the 12 hours of Sebring. In 2012 he drove for James Watt Automotive's JWA-Avila team.
24 Hours of Le Mans results
|2004||Intersport Racing|| Clint Field
|2005||Rachel Welter|| Yojiro Terada
|2006||Binnie Motorsports|| Yojiro Terada
|2007||Binnie Motorsports|| Allen Timpany
Candidacy for United States Senate
Binnie unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination in the United States Senate election in New Hampshire, 2010 for the seat currently held by Kelly Ayotte. The primary was held on September 14, 2010. Binnie ran for the Republican nomination against Hollis businessman Jim Bender, former State Board of Education chair Ovide Lamontagne, and former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, who won the primary contest and went on to win the election.
Binnie had announced his candidacy in November 2009, stating that his political beliefs were modeled after the former President Ronald Reagan's vision of a limited government that fostered economic growth. Individuals working on his campaign included Republican consultant Arthur J. Finkelstein, based in New York, former NHGOP executive director Paul Collins, and Sheri M. Keniston, formerly a congressional staffer for John E. Sununu.
During the 2010 Senate run Binnie's pro-choice view on abortion attracted death threats from radical anti-abortion terrorists, both against Binnie himself and against his elderly father of the same name. Other acts against Binnie and his family included vandalism of his daughter's car and threatening and harassing phone calls and postal mail. As of October 27, 2010, Binnie had spent more than six million dollars on his campaign.
A&E Plastics, Plásticos BajaCal
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According to The Children of NAFTA: Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border by journalist, union organizer, and activist David Bacon, Carlisle Plastics closed a factory located in Santa Ana named A&E Plastics in 1989 that employed 450 workers and transferred its production to a Carlisle-owned factory located in Tijuana, Mexico, a maquiladora named Plásticos BajaCal. Bacon claims that A&E Plastics was closed partly in response to attempts by A&E Plastics employees to form a union.
Similarly, Carlisle encountered unionizing efforts at Plásticos BajaCal. Factory workers at Plásticos BajaCal attempted to establish a new, independent union. Carlisle fired eight workers at the factory for attempting to organize the independent union there. These and various other incidents led to an investigation by the U.S. Congress into the treatment of trade unionists in Mexico, an investigation carried out by the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
In the end, the Mexican government mandated a vote at Plásticos BajaCal that resulted in the workers there choosing to remain part of the existing union rather than create a new and independent union. Allegations have been made that threats and blacklisting of workers influenced the outcome of that vote.
During Binnie's 2010 Senate campaign, Binnie stated that Carlisle Plastics' labor relations with employees under his tenure had been excellent and that Carlisle's holdings had included a number of unionized U.S. facilities, that there had never been a strike at Carlisle during his tenure as the CEO, and that it is incorrect to say that the operations of A&E Plastics were moved to Mexico. Binnie claims, "We didn't just shut it down; the employees were retained, they were doing different things." These claims were rebutted by Gary Rayno of the New Hampshire Union Leader who pointed to Carlisle's 1991 Annual Report that had been signed by Binnie as CEO and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Carlisle's 1991 annual report states in three places that Carlisle Plastics had closed a California plastics factory in order to move operations to Tijuana, Mexico. In one instance the term "relocation" is used to describe the move. John Distaso, Senior Political Reporter for the Union Leader has raised additional questions about Binnie's tenure at Carlisle Plastics. "Critics of his record in the plastics industry say the wealthy U.S. Senate candidate had a long list of labor, safety and environmental protection issues."
Binnie and his wife have made political contributions to a variety of political causes and candidates. Although he is currently Chairman of the Finance Committee for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee and has recently contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the state party, the frequency of his donations to Democratic candidates in the past drew criticisms from conservative groups during his candidacy in the 2010 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.
Binnie gave at least $8000 during the '00 political cycle, including : $5000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and contributions to New Hampshire Republican John Sununu and New Hampshire Democratic state Senator Martha Fuller Clark. 
In 2010 he gave sizable contributions to New Hampshire Republican candidates for state and federal offices including New Hampshire Republican Congressmen Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass, Florida Congressman Connie Mack, and Connecticut Candidate Tom Foley, as well as hundreds of thousands for New Hampshire Congressional Candidates through Revere America, a conservative Political Action Committee.
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- Zweig, Jason (1992-08-31), "Bag Man", Forbes, retrieved 2012-03-12
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- Nassau Chap. 11 auction ends with creditor Goldman Sachs keeping some big FMs Radio-Info.com, May 4, 2012
- Portos, Gabriel (2007-09-15). "Planetlemans talks to Bill Binnie". Archived from the original on 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
- Nick Candee. "Neat Garage: Bill Binnie Can Give Tidiness Pointers To Roger Penske" (PDF). The Vantage Point. Aston Martin Owners Club: 355–377.
- Dagys, John (2012-03-05). "LE MANS: Sebring WEC Entry Updates". Speed TV. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
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- "Election 2010 to Shatter Spending Records as Republicans Benefit from Late Cash Surge: Center for Responsive Politics predicts midterms could cost nearly $4 billion". Center for Responsive Politics. 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2011-03-05.
- Rotella, Sebastian (1996-12-23), "Worker Vote Tests Labor Rights in Mexico - Labor: Election at maquiladora goes the company's way. But for the first time in 13 years, a rival union takes part.", Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2009-11-06
- Maquiladora detention : Mexican treatment of trade unionists : hearing before the Employment, Housing, and Aviation Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, September 29, 1993, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1993, ISBN 0-16-043235-9, LCCN 94135525, OCLC 29593384
- Bacon, The Children Of NAFTA, p. 67.
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