Throwing his hat in the ring as the Republican contender for the vacant congressional seat in New York City’s 9th district is Bob Turner. On Tuesday, September 13th, a special election will be held pitting Turner against New York State Assemblyman David Weprin (D). Recently, FrontPage sat down with Mr. Turner to get his perspective on the issues confronting Americans today.
Fern Sidman: Mr. Turner, can you tell us, why, at age 70, having never been involved in politics, you are running for elected office?
Bob Turner: Actually, my political career began 18 months ago when I ran against former Congressman Anthony Weiner. While I lost that election, I did garner 41% of the vote, which signified to me that a sizeable number of voters in the 9th congressional district felt that Weiner was not representing their positions on the issues. Personally, when I heard Weiner speak I was outraged at his absurd explanations for supporting the disastrous policies of the Obama administration.
I then contacted Mike Long of the New York Conservative Party and asked him who was opposing Weiner on the ballot and who I could send a check to. When he told me that he was running unopposed, I was quite surprised and Mike told me that we need an independent candidate with strong business experience who can effectively articulate the conservative position on the issues. It was then that he asked me to run and after giving it careful consideration I decided to do it. After losing the race I had thought my political career was over, but I was nominated by the party to run again, and they asked if I would give it another try. There are serious problems facing our country as we are totally off course on a panoply of domestic issues and our foreign policy is a complete mess. With that in mind, I felt the voters of the 9th congressional district should have a choice in who represents them in Washington, rather than being saddled with someone who rubber stamps the president’s policies.
FS: Concerning your career as a cable television executive, what can you bring to the table as far as business management skills?
BT: My business career spans over 40 years, as I’ve worked for CBS and Gray Advertising. I’ve been both president and chief executive officer of four different companies with revenues of over 100 million plus. I started one of these companies completely from scratch with a knowledge of capital markets and how to get new money to invest in businesses. I have hands-on experience in growing businesses, both domestic and international, and that knowledge will prove to be invaluable when dealing with fiscally irresponsible policies of the Obama administration. As a business person, I respect the person who works hard, and don’t want the tax dollars of the middle class to be squandered by incompetents. Right now our country is being run by academics and career politicians and what we’re sorely lacking in these deliberations is a pragmatic approach to the economy; a bona fide business plan that has been proven successful so many times.
FS: What are your plans for stimulating job growth and lowering taxes for the small business owner in Brooklyn and Queens?
BT: There are three principal areas that we need to focus on. Firstly, we need to tap into resources in the energy field. We need to ask all energy companies to work on a domestic program immediately and that means domestic drilling and off-shore resources. In New York State, we’re not doing nearly enough to exploit our natural resources. In other states, such as Pennsylvania, there are over 70,000 people employed in the steel industry, and if we explore our options, we, too, can become a major employer in the energy field.
In order to help these development plans along we must immediately remove the litany of government regulations that are strangling the private business sector, and we must start encouraging American ingenuity and creativity. The intentions of this administration have met great uncertainty especially when it pertains to repatriating foreign profits. This means that U.S. corporations can repatriate earnings attributable to foreign business operations at a greatly reduced tax rate, and right now, there is more than $1 trillion in U.S. corporate profits that reside overseas. The mistake that this administration has made, and other Democratic administrations have made for decades, is that they think they can compel businesses to keep their investments in the U.S. by taxing profits generated by American companies in foreign countries, and that is simply untrue. By encouraging companies to spend money on plant equipment and new product development, you will give them incentives to spend their money here, thus creating more jobs.
We had best dramatically reduce government regulations rather quickly, as Obamacare is crippling small businesses and is literally pulling millions of dollars out of them. We’re looking at higher insurance premiums and let’s remember that the insurance companies are only making a 2 percent profit. What you have are substantially less benefits and inadequate healthcare. In addition to insurance companies, financial and corporate institutions are being hard hit by this as well. Soon, jobs will be sent to London and Toronto. These are the unintended consequences of massive regulations. Rather than creating an environment that would make borrowing money easier, it just makes it more cumbersome.
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