Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ninth district Congressman Morgan Griffith kicks off his reelection campaign

Rep. Morgan Griffith announces his reelection at Salem's Lake Spring Park.

Lake Spring Park is 9th district Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith’s favorite place. “This is where I started working,” he said. With redistricting putting Griffith living in the district he represents it was a fitting spot for one of three stops he made around the district Monday.

Delegate Greg Habeeb (R-8) who took Griffith’s place in the General Assembly introduced both Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Griffith. Goodlatte said, “it’s a little bittersweet that the city of Salem that I represented for 20 years will be represented by [Griffith] going into the 9th district.” Goodlatte believed that Griffith being a resident of Salem made it appropriate that he should represent it.

Both Goodlatte and Griffith have espoused the usual themes of reigning in the federal government, over regulation and killing Obamacare clearing the way for individual responsibility and free enterprise.

“The most important issue is to create an environment that makes it easier to create jobs in these United States.” We can do better “if we make federal regulations make sense and don’t strangle our job creators,” said Griffith. The trickle down of banking regulations to community banks has resulted in “such high standards of regulations that unless you clearly do not need the money you cannot borrow money.”

Griffith repeated how regulations are hurting entrepreneurs and businesses that are trying to expand. He admonished the current administration’s stance on energy – not allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built and restrictions on the use of coal.

Rep. Morgan Griffith flanked by Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Del. Greg Habeeb

“While the President can’t control everything that pushes gas prices up there are things he can do.” Other oil-producing countries will lower their prices as they see the U.S. producing more explained Griffith. “When speculators understand that the United States is serious – they will head to the hills … but right now they believe we are not serious.”

This reporter asked Griffith why just days prior to the expiration of federal funding for transportation congress only passed a 90-day extension. U.S. Senator Mark Warner in a conference last week voiced his frustration that the senate’s two-year funding bill failed in congress.

This according to VDOT and their contractors leaves them blinded by uncertainty as they try to prepare maintenance contracts and bids for new construction. Griffith to some degree believes, as did Sen. Mark Warner that funding should be for a five-year period.

Griffith said he has told his leadership that, “even if I don’t like parts of it – if we could get a five-year plan that is realistic I would support it … they’re working behind the scenes as we speak.” He stressed that “hopefully” this last 90-days would be the last extension. “Contractors don’t want to go out a buy a big piece of equipment when there is only 90-days worth of funding.”

It all boils down to “more” or “less” money to be spent. “It’s a reasonable fight to have but at some point you have to reach a compromise,” said Griffith. A two-year timeframe that the senate proposed is helpful but doesn’t give the certainty for contractors that five-year funding gives.

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith are not that far apart in their desire for long-term funding of transportation. It all comes down to how much to spend.

Griffith will face one of two Democratic opponents in November – either Anthony Flaccavento an organic farmer and owner of SCALE, Inc, a consulting firm or Jeremiah Heaton who ran as an independent in 2010. Both live in Abington.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2012, Elections, National, Politics

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