As officials closed streets in downtown Roanoke’s Market area ahead of the president’s visit tomorrow, George Allen swung through the Star City as well.
Allen toured Lloyd Electric Company before visiting Norfolk Southern headquarters and then stopping by the City Market Building with Del. Greg Habeeb and Sen. Ralph Smith.
Allen is running for U.S. Senate against another former governor, Tim Kaine, who will appear with Obama at tomorrow’s event.
During a press event, Allen said that he thinks portions of the health care law — upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last month — should be retained as law, even as the House of Representatives voted to repeal the bill this week. In particular, Allen said he liked the provision that allows children to remain on their parents’ policies until age 26, which Allen said is more important than ever given the high unemployment rate among recent college graduates.
After the jump, read the Allen campaign’s account of his visit, along with a rebuttal by former state House Majority Leader Richard Cranwell.
Here’s the Allen release:
George Allen Hears Roanoke Valley Concerns During Visits
Roanoke, VA – Today George Allen brought the Virginia Voices initiative to Roanoke where he listened to hardworking men and women about their concerns and shared ideas for fixing Washington.
George Allen began his Roanoke visit with a tour of Lloyd Electric Company, a family-owned business established in 1920. In addition to servicing and repairing electrical motors, Lloyd Electric is one of the larger electrical motor distributors and repair centers in Western Virginia and operates in a 200 mile radius. Allen was joined by Delegates Greg Habeeb and Charles Poindexter in touring the facility.
“Lloyd Electric Company was built with a lot of hard work and innovation, adapting to changing economies and new business climates,” said Rick Lloyd, owner of Lloyd Electric Company. “But these days, Washington just wants to take more of what we’ve worked for and regulate what we can and can’t have. The last thing we need is higher taxes from Washington that fund their regulations that drive up the cost of doing business. I’m glad to know George Allen supports Virginia energy and has a record of providing real solutions for lowering our tax burdens so we can invest, grow and hire more.”
George Allen also met with employees at the Roanoke headquarters of Norfolk Southern, hearing their views firsthand on how Washington affects their work. Norfolk Southern is a major transporter of coal and industrial products essential to the economy of Virginia. In the past two years, Norfolk Southern ordered 3,000 new coal railcars made in Roanoke by a company that hired hundreds of new workers to fulfill the order. This year, Norfolk Southern contracted to re-body 2,200 coal railcars, which keeps those hardworking employees in their jobs. In the future, Norfolk Southern’s orders for new coal rail cars will be determined by the demand for coal. If coal demand continues to decline due to the assault of EPA regulations, not only will there be enormous job losses for small businesses in the coalfields, but there will be fewer jobs in the Roanoke coal railcar factory. Moreover, Virginians will feel the same pain paying our monthly electric bill that we feel at the gasoline pump.”
“Businesses large and small want the freedom and opportunity to grow, hire more people and compete in a healthy economy, but Washington is standing in their way by taxing and regulating too much and not listening enough,” said George Allen. “Virginians have been given too many promises for hope and change which have led to few results and lost jobs. I will be a strong voice for Virginians who share our vision for more simple, fair and competitive tax laws, unleashing Virginia’s energy resources, and for reasonable regulations that empower people rather than Washington bureaucracy. It’s time to make Washington more efficient, effective and accountable to the men and women who pay the bills.”
Following the business tours and discussions, George Allen joined State Senator Ralph Smith and Delegate Greg Habeeb in visiting with families, working people, retired teachers and visitors in Roanoke’s friendly Market in the Square.
And here’s Cranwell’s rebuttal, via the Democratic Party of Virginia:
“We tried things George Allen’s way during his last term in the Senate and we’re still paying the bill for it. In Washington, Allen helped turn a record surplus into a massive deficit. He supported tax breaks for major oil companies and voted to four times to raise his own pay while also voting for the largest student loan cuts in U.S. history.
“Virginia families and businesses can’t afford another six years of George Allen’s divisive approach that pit groups against each other instead of bringing people together to find common ground on tomorrow’s challenges. Fortunately we have in Governor Tim Kaine a candidate with a fiscally responsible record of expanding economic opportunity for all Virginians and bringing all ideas to the table to solve our most pressing challenges. That’s exactly the kind of leadership we need in Washington.”