By: Victoria Adams and Jason Straczewski
October 2010 Franchising World
This year’s mid-term election is shaping up to be one of the most critical in our nation’s history. With high unemployment remaining steady and nervous jitters on Wall Street, the people of the United States will head to the polls hopeful and ready to make an impact.
Many historic new reforms to our health-care system and banking system, coupled with new levels of economic stimulus spending have driven up the engagement level of citizens. The International Franchise Association is proud to provide election resources so that you can compare the positions of congressional candidates on the issues that matter to you and your business.
We encourage you to visit www.franchisingvotes.com to learn more. There you will find voter registration information for your state and deadlines and instructions for absentee ballots or early-voter programs. You can get information about who in your state is a candidate in this important election and learn more about their backgrounds and positions on the issues.
Profiled below are five candidates for the 112th Congress. Each is supported by FranPAC, IFA’s political action committee, because of their history of supporting small businesses in their local communities. Log onto www. franchisingvotes.com to get to know the candidates in your state.
ARKANSAS Name: Blanche Lincoln Seat: Senator – Arkansas Party: Democrat Occupation: Congressional staff, politician, homemaker
Blanche L. Lincoln made history when she became the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate at the age of 38. Sen. Lincoln’s tenure has been marked by a willingness to seek bipartisan solutions. She helped form the Moderate Dems Working Group, a new coalition of moderate Senate Democrats who work with Senate leadership and the new administration to craft common-sense solutions to our nation’s most-pressing priorities.
Additionally, Sen. Lincoln serves on the Senate Committees on Finance; Energy and Natural Resources and is chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. She will continue to be a leader on a wide range of issues, including farm policy, nutrition, forestry, social security, health care, tax policy, international trade, energy policy, aging issues and veterans.
Sen. Lincoln also supports eliminating the burdensome and unnecessary estate tax, she voted for important tax relief in 2001 and 2003 and is an outspoken opponent of the Employee Free Choice Act, or “Card Check.” For these reasons, IFA named her as a co-Legislator of the Year during its 11th Annual Public Affairs Conference in September.
CALIFORNIA Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina addresses IFA’s 2009 Annual Convention.
Name: Carly Fiorina Seat: Senator - California Party: Republican Occupation: Businesswoman
Carly Fiorina worked her way through undergraduate and graduate school. A self-made woman, she started her business career as a secretary and went on to become the first, and to date, the only woman to lead a Fortune 20 company, computer giant Hewlett-Packard.
Fiorina wants to work in Washington to encourage job growth and innovation. To do this, she pledges to change the conversation from adding new, burdensome regulations, such as new health-care mandates and higher energy costs. Instead, she will focus on giving smallbusiness owners and entrepreneurs the ability and the opportunity to grow and succeed by cutting taxes, reducing the burden of onerous business regulations and getting credit flowing again.
COLORADO Name: Cory Gardner Seat: Fourth District - Colorado Party: Republican Occupation: State legislator, attorney, small businessman
Cory Gardner is a leading member in the Colorado House of Representatives. He is an advocate for limited government and common-sense principles who believes strongly that reducing taxes on individuals and businesses alike is the best way to grow the economy and provide jobs, especially in times of recession.
Soon after he was elected to serve in the legislature, Gardner was selected by his colleagues for a leadership role as House Minority Whip. He has been named Legislator of the Year by several Colorado business and farm coalitions. The Colorado Civil Justice League has recognized Rep. Gardner on numerous occasions for his efforts to reduce frivolous litigation and runaway lawsuit abuse. In 2009, he received the Guardian of the Taxpayer award from the Colorado Union of Taxpayers.
OHIO Name: Steve Stivers Seat: Fifteenth District - Ohio Party: Republican Occupation: Banker, businessman, state senator
Steve Stivers served as an Ohio state senator from 2003 until 2008. Throughout his career in the general assembly, he was an advocate for programs and initiatives that promoted economic development and encouraged job creation. He worked his way through college at Ohio State University, working for the Ohio Company and Bank One. He joined the Ohio Army National Guard, and with more than 25 years of service, holds the rank of lieutenant colonel and is proud to have served for nearly a year as a battalion commander in a combat zone during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Stivers has worked in the private sector, helping companies improve operations, explore new opportunities, and create and retain jobs. He understands the struggles facing small businesses and hopes to work in Congress to create a more positive business environment in Ohio and across the country where small businesses can thrive and succeed.
PENNSYLVANIA Name: Pat Meehan Seat: Seventh District - Pennsylvania Party: Republican Occupation: District attorney
As U.S. Attorney, Pat Meehan decided to take a stand against “pay-to-play” politics in Philadelphia and won a string of convictions that changed the city’s political culture forever. Meehan took on corruption in Philadelphia because he knew the public’s faith in government, among other things, was at stake. The situation was dire and it required someone to stand up on behalf of the taxpayers and say, “Business as usual must stop.” He believes being a public servant means representing those who feel voiceless and vulnerable.
Meehan wants to focus on providing entrepreneurs and small-business owners with the tools they need to succeed. On the federal level, he wants to free small businesses of overly burdensome regulations that restrict innovation and growth and a tax structure that punishes entrepreneurs rather than rewards them for creating jobs. In particular, he will fight proposals currently being debated in Washington to create a new value-added tax, essentially a national sales tax, on goods and products.
SOUTH CAROLINA Name: Tim Scott Seat: First District – South Carolina Party: Republican Occupation: Business owner, state legislator
Tim Scott is a small-business owner and public servant. He was born in North Charleston, and grew up in poverty with a single mother who worked 16-hour days to keep him and his brother in school. He also benefited from a mentor, a Chick-fil-A operator, who guided him when he was at a very impressionable age. Scott is a graduate of Charleston Southern University.
In 1995, he was elected to Charleston County Council, becoming the first black Republican elected to county-wide office in South Carolina since Reconstruction. He served on the council for 13 years, becoming chairman in 2007. In 2008, Scott was elected to the S.C. House of Representatives.
Scott believes that government cannot create jobs, but can foster the right conditions to spark investment. He was heavily involved in bringing Boeing to the Charleston area, and has helped recruit over 20,000 new jobs, with companies such as Daimler Chrysler (now Mercedes), Verizon, Force Protection, Global Aeronautica, Vought Alenia and many others.
Scott is the owner of Tim Scott Allstate and has been awarded S.C. Agency Owner of the Year. He served as co-chairman of the Financial Services Committee of the Allstate National Advisory Board from 2004-2008.
Victoria Adams is director of political affairs and Jason Straczewski is director of government relations for the International Franchise Association. Adams can be reached at 202-662-0781 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Straczewski can be reached at 202-662-0797 or email@example.com .