Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Small businesses, the state’s best job generators, deserve respect from Washington

The tour was heavily focused on what Congress could do for small businesses today as I traveled around the Mount Washington Valley area.

Small business owners across the region are suffering from the burdens Washington is placing on them, and they are somewhat fearful about what new burdens may come next. They are looking for relief and a new direction that recognizes their role as job creators.

Despite the tough times small companies are facing, New Hampshire business owners were very receptive and excited about the ideas I’d like to bring to Washington.

“Without small businesses we can’t put anyone to work, because there would be no one to employ them,” said Carl Thibodeau, owner of Tee Enterprises, a precision manufacturing company that employs 22 people at 71 Hobbs St. in Conway. “The current Congress is crucifying small businesses with taxes and more burdens.”

Thibodeau said he employed 36 employees 10 months ago, but due to tax-and-spend lawmakers in Congress, he has had to reduce his staff and the benefit packages for those employees who remain.

The current bills for health care in Congress would “saddle me with things I don’t want or need and make me do things I think are unfair or inappropriate,” Thibodeau said. “I’m for reducing the size of government, reducing government costs and reducing the taxes we have to pay for things we don’t want.”

I couldn’t agree more. Washington needs to be purged of lawmakers who spend their time thinking up new ways to soak small business owners and tell them how to run their operations.

According to Jac Cuddy, executive director of the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council at 53 Technology Lane in Conway, the region needs more businesses like Tee Enterprises to drive its economic engine.

“The engine that drives our economy is basically tourism, retail and attractions,” Cuddy said. “We’re looking to continue to diversify, and find small businesses in other areas of the country that might want to relocate here to create higher-wage jobs and things of that nature. We want the opportunity to be a place and location where light manufacturing and tech companies might want to relocate.”

To achieve this vision, Washington needs to get out of the way, remove barriers to trade and commerce, and let small business owners do what they do best: create goods and services, opportunities and jobs, and economy-driving wealth that will benefit everyone.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m. at the Conway Café at 32 Main St. in Conway so I can listen to more concerns and suggestions from business owners and residents in the area like these.

-- Frank Guinta

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From Londonderry to Conway, New Hampshire wants less government

Today was a great day on the campaign trail. From Londonderry to Conway, voters really seem to be concerned about the economy and the direction of the country.

I started out at New Hampshire Precision Metal Fabricators in Londonderry, where I met Mark Poirier, president of the precision parts and assemblies manufacturer at 15 Industrial Drive.

Like many business owners, Mark is concerned about how government is getting in the way of the economy with burdensome taxes and regulation, preventing businesses from growing and creating much-needed jobs. He said he was glad to see a candidate in listening mode, traveling around the state to really get a sense of how Washington can help businesses best by getting out of the way.

“Small business people are looking for someone to represent us in Congress who is going to look at the pocketbook issues of everyday people,” Poirier told me after touring his business.

Later, I headed north to the Conway area where I’ll be staying the night in preparation for tomorrow’s Town Hall meeting there. We’ll be at Conway Café at 32 Main St. starting at 6 p.m. to hear from the folks of the Mount Washington Valley Region.

While taking in some views of New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, which is beautiful in all seasons of the year, I stopped in to see Chris Kanzler, owner of White Mountains Firearms at 1305 White Mountain Highway in North Conway to talk about his concerns that the federal government is growing too large.

More specifically, Chris was concerned that government is taking too much power away from the states, which really should be the level of government more connected with the people and everyday issues. In addition, Chris pressed for a stronger interpretation of the Second Amendment so everyday people can protect their own rights.

“We can really rely on Frank to keep our Second Amendment rights in tact, which is important as a guarantee of individuals’ rights to protect their persons, property and liberty,” Chris Kanzler said.

During another stop at South Tamworth Country Store at 1004 Bearcamp Highway in South Tamworth, owner Barry Paterno and I talked about how important it is going to be to get fresh candidates in Washington in 2010 and 2012 who are willing to listen to the people they represent and act in their behalf.

“It would be nice to get more Republicans down there to put a break on all that stuff the Democrats are doing down there, and bring some balance back to Congress,” Barry told me.

I’m humbled by Mark, Chris and Barry’s support and encouraged that so many folks are eager to voice their concerns with me. Once elected, I will do everything in my power to restore our government to its constitutional limits, which will assuredly help restore the economy as well.

I hope to see you tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Conway Café at 32 Main St. in Conway so I can listen to more of your concerns. If you can't make it there, you'll still be able to catch me at four other meetings before our current tour is done. Meet me in Rochester at 6 p.m. on February 11, in Dover at 6 p.m. on February 18, in Londonderry at 6 p.m. on February 24, or in Wolfeboro at 6 p.m. on March 3.

-- Frank Guinta

Friday, January 22, 2010

Government should be limited to stimulate economy

Former Mayor Frank Guinta said his zero-based budgeting approach to cutting spending and taxes is working in Manchester, and there is no reason it wouldn’t work in Washington once he is elected to Congress.

“[Department heads] didn’t like it. The budget process for them was longer. It required more time, but guess what? Taxpayers appreciated it,” he said. “We were able to find pots of money in different departments that didn’t have any purpose. And we reduced those things. We cut them out of the budget.”

Guinta, who is running for New Hampshire’s First District U.S. House seat, told a crowd of about 100 in Bedford’s Town Hall on Thursday that government budgets and taxes increase every year because elected officials usually start with the prior year’s budget, then add spending to it. The zero-based budgeting system he implemented as mayor forced department heads to build their budgets from scratch every year. It also forced them to justify every major expense.

“I use this quick phrase ‘freeze, cap and cut’,” Guinta said. “Let’s freeze [federal] spending number one. Let’s just freeze it—stop—you have to stop the bleeding going on. Instead, the Senate is considering raising the debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion. So they still don’t get it.”

Next, analyze every department for waste by doing a top-to-bottom budget review. Last, cut items out of the budget by first prioritizing what services are most important and constitutional, he said.

Businesses engage in such practices every day, but they face increasing pressure from the government to hand over more of their hard-earned money. This, in turn, is stifling the economy, he said.

Guinta pledges to repeal any government takeover of health care

During his Town Hall meeting in Bedford on Thursday, First District Congressional Candidate Frank Guinta clearly explained his ideas for health care reform as well as his vehement opposition to the current government-run health care plan that President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi are trying to force through Congress.

Guinta, the former mayor of Manchester, pledged in front of an audience of about 100 Granite Staters that he would repeal any federal health care takeover passed by Congress after he is elected to the House of Representatives. His opponent in the race, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, supports government-run health care.

This is an important pledge, because it says three things,” Guinta said. “It says government is not going to run your health care, it says I’m not going to spend more of your money to provide you more health care, and it gives you a point-blank direct promise, that if I ever violate it, you have every right to fire me as your member of Congress.”

To improve the cost and accessibility of health care, Guinta proposed laws that would allow health insurance companies to do business in all 50 states and allow several small businesses to pool their employees together to get the same tax benefits as larger firms.

Guinta explains where he came from and where he’s going

Former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta has both real-world and political experience to take with him to Washington, but first and foremost he will bring the People’s voice, the congressional candidate told a crowd of about 100 voters in Bedford on Thursday.

Since 2000, Guinta has served as a New Hampshire state representative, a Manchester alderman and the Manchester mayor. Before that, he worked for Travelers Insurance and ran his own insurance consulting firm. He has master’s degrees in politics, philosophy and intellectual property.

“I don’t know about people here, but there were no handouts for me or my folks or their folks,” Guinta said. “People worked hard to build their American Dream. And I think we can be a country that can thrive in an environment where a free-market based approach can provide you that American Dream.”

While pursuing his own goals with his wife Morgan and two children, Guinta said he has found it impossible to ignore the level of disrespect members of Congress have toward the American people. Such disrespect had made it harder for Americans to achieve their goals and dreams and has even threatened the nation’s tradition to leave a better world for its children, he said.

“This is not about Republican or Democrat. This is about what people in this state and in this country want out of their Congress,” Guinta said. “Our tour of the district is designed to ensure people know what kind of legislator and representative I would be—open, accessible, forthright.”

The Bedford Town Hall meeting Thursday was the first of six packaged together as part of Guinta’s “Let’s Talk Frank About…” Tour, which will run seven weeks and bring the candidate to 60 stops in 40 communities so he can listen to you. Guinta promised to hold Town Hall meetings regularly with constituents once elected.

All Town Hall events begin at 6 p.m., and will take place in North Conway on January 27, Rochester on February 11, Dover on February 18, Londonderry on Feb. 24 and Wolfeboro on March 3.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Let's Talk Frank About... Tour Begins

We had a great first day on the tour of the First Congressional District.

I met some great business owners and voters in Bedford, such as Dan and Emily St. Jean at Karen's Kitchen on Rte. 101, Robert and Dylan Cruess at T.F. Moran at 48 Constitution Drive, Tony Stamatis at Pizza Bella on Rte. 101, Bonnie Stewart at Learning Adventures at 51 Old Bedford Road and of course all the great kids.

"I'd very much like to see a return to the core functions of government in Washington," said Dylan Cruess of T.F. Moran, a land planning firm. "Returning to these functions will solve our spending and fiscal problems. We're very happy to have a congressional candidate who feels the same way."

With comments like Dylan's, it's clear to me that the mood that sent Republican Scott Brown to win the "People's Senate Seat" in Massachusetts is just as widespread here in New Hampshire. I'm excited to be a part of this movement and grateful to Granite Staters who want me to bring common sense back to their District 1 House seat in Washington.

As I reflect on the great people I met in Bedford earlier today, I'm really excited to meet more folks from the area at my first Town Hall meeting tonight in Bedford. As the title of the tour suggests, I'm ready to talk frank about anything that's on your mind tonight. I can assure you that I will remember these nights and bring your voice to Congress if you honor me with your votes.

I hope to see you tonight at 6 p.m. at the Bedford Town Hall. You can find the Town Hall at 70 Bedford Center Road. If you can't make it tonight, you'll still be able to catch me at five other meetings before our tour is done. Meet me in North Conway at 6 p.m. on January 27, in Rochester at 6 p.m. on February 11, in Dover at 6 p.m. on February 18, in Londonderry at 6 p.m. on February 24, or in Wolfeboro at 6 p.m. on March 3.

-- Frank Guinta