Rossi calls for less government on trip to Whidbey

Chuck Krieg of Krieg Concrete gives Republican Senate candidate Dino Rossi a tour of his facility on Thursday in Oak Harbor.  - Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times
Chuck Krieg of Krieg Concrete gives Republican Senate candidate Dino Rossi a tour of his facility on Thursday in Oak Harbor.
— image credit: Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times

Republican Senate candidate Dino Rossi made two stops in Oak Harbor Thursday as part of his tour of Washington small businesses.

Rossi believes that federal government handouts won’t aid in the revitalization of Oak Harbor’s economy and aims to turn things around.

Don Krieg of Krieg Construction, who hosted Rossi, said even in a city like Oak Harbor that receives a lot of military funding, small businesses are struggling to stay afloat because of an overly invasive government.

“Government has gotten too big,” Krieg said. “They’re moving more and more on top of us until we can’t even move.”

Rossi said he’s heard many complaints like Krieg’s while on his campaign trail. According to Rossi, many small business owners claim that even if they had the means to expand their organizations right now, they wouldn’t because they don’t know what the federal government will throw at them from week to week.

“We are in a really difficult situation right now, but I’m running against someone who doesn’t understand that,” Rossi said.

Rossi’s opponent, the three-term incumbent Democratic Senator Patty Murray, supported health care reform and the federal stimulus package which Rossi claims are killing jobs.

“You’re not looking for some government handout of any kind,” Rossi told Krieg, “but small business owners … are looking for modest taxation and fair and predictable regulation. Let people go chasing the American dream … and then after they’re successful and then after they’ve achieved that American dream, you don’t punish them for success with outrageous tax rates, because you want them to do it again, and again and again.”

Letting small business owners “chase the American dream” was a clear theme of Rossi’s visit, but the details of how he plans to help business owners achieve that dream without stimulating their modest budgets were not clear.

Meanwhile, Senator Murray also reached out to small business owners Thursday after passing the Small Business Lending Fund bill through the Senate. The bill sets aside $30 billion to help community banks get the capital they need to make loans to small businesses. A release from Murray’s press office states, “With access to loans and credit, small businesses have the opportunity to expand and hire more workers, promote economic growth, and act as a driving force for our economic recovery.”

Despite a recent Rassmussen Reports poll, which shows 51 percent of Washington voters support Murray over Rossi’s 46 percent, the Republican challenger is confident in his chances. A former state senator, he has lost twice in runs for governor.

While on the island, Rossi also toured Krieg Concrete and Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland.

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