Voters express concern over Social Security, small business, and Bachmann's absence
State Senator Tarryl Clark, candidate for Congress in the 6th Congressional District, was greeted by a packed room in Anoka for her Main Street Forum on Sunday night. The growing crowd required Clark's staff to bring in extra chairs on two different occasions.
Clark was joined by moderator Dana Badgerow, who served as a Commissioner of Administration under the Pawlenty Administration. Clark's opponent, incumbent Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, was invited to the Forum, but chose not to attend.
Clark introduced herself to the crowd and described her upbringing. "My younger brother was born while my dad was deployed to the Arctic Circle in the Navy. He returned home for just 2 days to meet my brother before being sent to the Cuban Missile Blockade. I understand firsthand how hard deployment is on families,"
A number of Anoka residents shared their concerns and personal stories with Clark. Leslie Knott described that after working for 22 years, double-time and overtime, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Now, she is dependent on Social Security for her $15,000 per year income. Leslie implored Clark not to privatize Social Security and to protect it for hard working people who have paid into it.
Another resident, Mark Olson of Blaine, started a small business and began building specialty homes in 2000. When the housing market crashed, he had to slowly sell off properties. He closed the doors to his business within the past week.
"My opponent, Congresswoman Bachmann, voted against bills to help small businesses stay afloat and responsible people stay in their homes," Clark said. "Just recently, Bachmann voted against a bill that would have provided needed guarantees for medium-sized banks who often serve small businesses to provide needed cash and capitol to help these businesses grow. I will stand with small business owners, not against them."
Clark concluded, "Thank you all for taking time to participate in the democracy that our founders envisioned. I wish Congresswoman Bachmann were willing to have an honest debate about the issues facing our country. I look forward to our series of face-to-face conversations with voters throughout the district, and am committed to showing up and listening as your Member of Congress."