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Towanda Daily Review - Congressional GOP candidate Dan Meuser stumps in Towanda

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Location: Towanda, PA

Towanda Daily Review - Congressional GOP candidate Dan Meuser stumps in Towanda

Republican Dan Meuser, who is running for U.S. Rep. Chris Carney's seat in Congress, brought his campaign to Towanda Monday, saying the skills he's acquired as a successful businessman would help make him an effective congressman and that his conservative principals are what's needed in Washington at this time.

Speaking at the Elks Lodge in Towanda, Meuser said that he had helped grow Pride Mobility Products of Exeter, Pa., from an 18-employee company 20 years ago to one that has 1,200 workers today.

Meuser, his brother, and his father took over the company in the 1980s, and today Dan Meuser is the president of the company, which makes products to assist disabled people, said one of his campaign officials, Eric Wallace.

"I have some extensive experience (as a businessman) that I think allows me to be very results-oriented and provides me with the ability to execute plans and get things done," Dan Meuser told approximately 50 people at the Elks Club on Monday.

Meuser was introduced at the Elks Club by Matthew Brann, former chairman of the Bradford County Republican Party, who said that U.S. Rep. Chris Carney is a liberal who does not mesh with the values of the 10th District, which he said is pretty conservative.

Republican Don Ely, a retired teacher and pastor, told those at the Elks Club that he had dropped out of the race for Congress in the 10th District this year in order to work for Meuser's campaign. Ely said that Meuser is the strongest of the candidates running for Congress in the 10th District this year.

Ely said it is critical to defeat Carney now, so that he doesn't become "entrenched" as the district's congressman and more difficult to defeat in the future.

Meuser said he has been running for Congress for eight months, and he said he has the endorsement of Hazelton Mayor Lou Barletta, former federal drug official Joe Peters, and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who has become an adviser to his campaign.

"Their conservatism is something we agree on and which I believe is very important to bring to the government at this time," Meuser said.

Meuser, 43, said government needs to get off the backs of business, that he is against any kind of amnesty for illegal immigrants, that the country should get behind Gen. David Petraeus' plan to give the troops what they need to accomplish their mission in Iraq. He also talked about the need for more exploration for oil and natural gas, as well as the need to develop alternative energy and energy conservation.

"My ultimate goal is to make opportunity for a quality of life so that my and your children and grandchildren will want to stay here and raise families" and make the district a place that "we can be truly proud of to call home," Meuser said.

"I will work to keep taxes low, or better yet, reduce them," said Meuser. And, he said, he wants to reduce the spending in Washington, which he said is "out of control."

"Chris Carney is wrong on taxes, he's wrong on spending ... he's wrong on health care, he's wrong on the war in Iraq," Meuser said. "He doesn't have the skills or desire to truly get things done at home."

"We've got to get government off the backs of our businesses," Meuser said. He said businesses are continuing to set up shop overseas because of problems they face in the United States, including high energy costs, high taxes, and health care.

He called the plan to toll Interstate 80 a "bad idea" which would cause Pennsylvania to "take a step backwards" in terms of being a competitive place to do business.

Pennsylvania is already the 46th worst state in terms of being a competitive place to do business, he said.

"I will be an advocate for a strong military," Meuser said. "I will always work to provide the appropriate defense" for the country and its freedoms, he said.

He said he was not in favor of any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants, saying it "makes no sense" to make it easier for illegal immigrants, as opposed to legal immigrants, to get U.S. citizenship.

"We must secure our borders and enforce the laws that exist," Meuser said. "We need action on this, not a lot of talk."

As for the war in Iraq, Meuser said that "progress is being made."

He said that Petraeus is a "great general" and the country needs to support Petraeus' plan to give the troops everything they need to "see their mission through" and then bring the troops home safely.

At the same time, the United States needs to make it clear to Iraq that its military presence in that country is not an "open-ended" arrangement. Iraq "must make the most of the opportunity" that has been created by the U.S. military presence, he said. "They have an opportunity to have democracy," Meuser said.

Evidence of progress in Iraq includes the 100,000 trained soldiers in the Iraqi army who are overseeing over 50 percent of the provinces in that country.

"Major attacks (by the enemy) are down 60 percent," Meuser said.

And a U.S. withdrawal at this time would be a mistake, he indicated.

"We can't leave a critical part of the world in any state of disarray," he said.

Meuser also said he supports drilling for natural gas in the outer continental shelf and for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, which he said would have unusually strong environmental safeguards in place.

"If we did those things, the price of oil would drop $20 to $25 per barrel, perhaps overnight," he said.

At the same time, the United States needs to work to develop alternative sources of energy and promote energy conservation, he said.

The other Republicans running for Carney's seat in Congress are Tunkhannock optometrist Davis Haire; OneSource Staffing Solutions President Chris Hackett, of Shavertown in Luzerne County; and accountant and small-business consultant Paul Swiderski, of Exeter Township in Luzerne County. The primary election is April 22.

Carney is running for re-election, Carney's office said.

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