Anthony Maglica, the creator of Maglite, may not have been swayed by Gov. Rick Scott’s pitch to uproot the Ontario, Calif.-based flashlight company.
Scott — who’s repeatedly attempted to poach jobs in states, including California, led by Democratic governors — recently reached out to Maglica, in tandem with a week-long “Made in America” White House effort launched by the “jobs, jobs jobs” governor’s pal, President Donald Trump.
While Maglica’s products are manufactured in California, state law bars him from using the “Made in USA” stamp because some of the components are made elsewhere.
In a letter to Scott sent Thursday, Maglica wrote that he’d like to discuss “business-climate issues” with the governor.
But, rather than accept Scott’s offer, the inventor — who launched his flashlight biz more than six decades ago — tried to enlist support for what he said would be an even more meaningful endeavor: an attempt to kill the California law.
Maglica asked Scott to help sway Congress to pass a measure — S. 118, dubbed the “Reinforcing American-made Products Act of 2017” — which would preempt the Golden State’s rules on the “Made in America” labeling.
“One shouldn’t have to be a Californian to support S. 118,” Maglica wrote. “California’s maverick statute is just as much of a problem for manufacturers from Florida, or any other state.”
In his letter to Scott, Maglica noted that the governor’s pitch “wasn’t the first suggestion” that he relocate to another state.
Maglica penned an op-ed piece published in The Wall Street Journal last month, in which the inventor complained about his fight against California’s “freakish” labeling statute.
While the Maglite flashlights are assembled at its Ontario factory east of Los Angeles, some of the components, most notably the LED lights, are imported.
California law prohibits manufacturers from using the “Made in U.S.A,” “Made in America,” or similar labels on products “if the merchandise or any article, unit, or part thereof, has been entirely or substantially made, manufactured, or produced outside of the United States.”
Scott wrote to Maglica on July 17, urging him to move Mag Instrument Inc. to the Sunshine State so the products could be labeled as “Made in the USA.”
In his response to Scott, Maglica invited the governor, rumored to be considering a bid for U.S. Senate next year, to come west.
“I would like to take the opportunity to invite you to visit Maglite’s world class manufacturing facility in Ontario, California,” Maglica wrote. “I would be delighted for a chance to speak to you further about this important law-reform matter, or about business-climate issues in general.”
— Posted by Jim Turner.