Democrat Bill Owens once again has made the stunning admission that he supports more regulations that hurt job growth -- unless someone from his district makes the effort to contact him and tell him to vote no.
"A member of Congress has a great responsibility to do their homework and figure out the economic impact of each bill," said Matt Doheny, the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties' candidate. "This is the second time my opponent has admitted he voted against a bill primarily because no one told him not to -- and then subsequently realized his vote threatened New York jobs."
The current congressman recently told the Glens Falls Post Star that he voted against an amendment that would have blocked the EPA from implementing a rule on cement manufacturers that would have carried a $1 billion compliance cost. (Roll Call #86, 2/17/11)
"No one in the district contacted me about this," Owens explained to the reporter.
Although unmentioned in the article, Owens also voted against providing additional time to the EPA to create practical, achievable standards for cement manufacturers. (Roll Call #764, 10/6/11)
Both of the congressman's votes would have increased compliance costs and hurt job growth at Lehigh Northeast Cement Plant, according to the article. Lengthening the time for compliance and relaxing the standard "will take some of the pressure off" the Glens Falls manufacturer "from an economic and a timing standpoint," Owens admitted.
"My opponent didn't say if he regrets those bad votes," said Doheny. "He has, however, admitted that his vote to increase taxes on medical device manufacturers will result in job losses -- but decided to work toward repeal only after those companies were drawn into the district he'd like to represent."
Doheny continued: "My opponent is a very passive congressman. If you're a business owner, you've got to come to him and make the case for why he shouldn't vote to raise taxes or increase compliance costs. He's obviously not going to make the outreach himself."
The candidate concluded: "I'm going to be a true representative. I'm going to call the right people and read the research to figure out the economic impact of my vote before I make it. That's why I support the REINS Act, which would require Congress to take an up-or-down vote on new economically significant regulations. It holds members accountable to their constituents. My opponent opposes the bill, electing instead to pass the buck to unelected bureaucrats like those in the EPA who come up with and implement these disastrous regulations with zero oversight."