We're in the middle of a recession and jobs are scarce. Right about now, shouldn't our taxpayer dollars be spent creating jobs and economic activity right here, rather than in foreign countries?
Delegate Bill Barlow certainly thinks so. And while he can't solve all of our trade issues as a Delegate in Richmond, he thinks it's just right to get state and local government to first consider buying goods and services from Virginian and American companies, before they get them from foreign sources. That's why Barlow has pledged to sponsor legislation to do just that, if he's re-elected.
At a candidate forum in Smithfield last night, his Republican challenger, Rick Morris, attacked Barlow's plan, calling it the “fundamental difference” between the two candidates. Morris calls Barlow's plan government intervention in the economy. Everyone we know calls it common sense.
Mr. Morris wants to confuse the isssue, but his opposition to Delegate Barlow's plan is clear. What this means is that Rick Morris believes Chinese and Mexican companies should be on an equal footing with Virginian and American companies when it comes to getting government contracts. Bill Barlow thinks this is just plain wrong, and the fact that we are in a recession and people need jobs only makes Morris' position worse.
This isn't the first time an issue like this has come up in the campaign. Morris supports foreign companies building a new U.S. Route 460. There are three proposals, one headed by a foreign company, and the others with foreign partners, that would see a $2.6 billion toll highway built to largely replace the current road. Some reports say tolls could be set as high as $11.00 to drive from Suffolk to Petersburg. What's worse, the foreign companies would have the authority to set and collect the tolls.
Delegate Bill Barlow has a strong record on jobs, and has been able to find innovative solutions to bring jobs south of the James. When International Paper closed in the City of Franklin, Delegate Barlow lead an effort in the House of Delegates to expand an economic enterprise zone. Now, after a great deal of hard work between state and local officials and business leaders, International Paper is coming back to Franklin and is repurposing the old facilities. They are hiring workers, with wages between $13.00 and $27.00 an hour. These are good-paying jobs for hard-working people.
We need Bill Barlow in the House of Delegates to work for solutions like that–not someone who puts their supposed ideological purity ahead of even one Virginian's ability to get a job.
Authorized by Barlow for Delegate.