Leader Blues

Friday, March 19, 2010

TOP STORY >> Candidate says he has background for victory

By GARRICK FELDMAN
Leader executive editor

Scott A. Wallace of Little Rock is running for Congress in the Second District as a Republican. He’ll face former interim U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin in the May primary.

Wallace, 48, owns Bruno’s Little Italy restaurant in Little Rock and Whole Hog World Championship Barbecue in Jonesboro.

He’s a former Pulaski County deputy sheriff and a former board member of the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board and Arkansas

Motor Vehicle Commission. Wallace is a past member of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Arkansas.

He is also a former basketball and football official. He’s been the director of the Southern Golf Association.

Wallace attended the University of Arkansas, where he studied advertising and public relations.

He says he enjoys family time, playing golf and riding Harley Davidsons. He and his family are members of the Summit Church.

Griffin was interviewed in The Leader on March 3. Here are Wallace’s answers to questions from The Leader.

Why are you running for Congress?

I am running because I believe that it is time to break this cycle in Washington of representatives who are not listening to their constituents.

We have a broken system and it was time for me as a small businessman to step off of the sidelines and go to work for the people here at home. I have served in many ways in this community and God has blessed me with a servant’s heart; I wanted to take that to the next level and give central Arkansas a representative that they knew was listening.
central Arkansas a representative who they knew was listening.

Why are you a Republican?

I am a conservative. I run on the Republican ticket because the “real” Republican Party is a conservative organization. What we have seen from the party the past many years has been anything but what conservatism is all about.

Who is supporting your candidacy?

I have local support only. We are not taking Washington money in this race. The national party, power brokers and lobbyists have injected themselves into my opponent’s campaign in a big way. I would ask ‘why’? I do not want to owe anyone in Washington; we are going to be loyal to the people who put me there who reside here at home.

Will your small-business background prepare you for Congress?

I am not sure anything will prepare anyone for what is happening in Washington. I will take my 23-plus years of facing everything you can think of from the government and the practical experience and use that knowledge to represent the rights of business owners here in central Arkansas. We are the job providers, the federal government needs to stay off of our backs, allow the citizens to have their money and our economy will be fine. You cannot tax people to death and expect them to run out and buy goods and services. Chicken before the egg! Get the government out of everyone’s lives, it is far too invasive.

What makes you different from Tim Griffin and your potential Democratic opponent?

I cannot speak for my Democratic opponent, not sure who that will be. As far as my primary opponent, I have 23 years-plus of “real” small-business experience, employing hundreds of Arkansans and facing what businesses face that have employees.

He claims to own “two small businesses” — he just does not reveal that he is the only employee. There is a dramatic difference in the practical experience between the two. I have also lived in this district my entire life.

This is my home, I know the district, I understand the people here and I have served here in many ways on many charitable boards, commissions and appointments. I feel like the district is ready for someone who is not connected to Washington like my opponent and who actually has lived here and understands the people here.

I will be here, I won’t ever move to Washington. What do you want, a Washington insider with very deep Washington connections and loyalties or someone who is free from that burden and that has one desire to serve the folks here at home?

To me the choice is clear, it is time to send Washington a message, this is our seat.

How will you help Arkansas if elected?

By being here and listening to the people. I will form accountability groups all through the district that will include all political persuasions and all types of professions, and I will meet with them on a regular basis. We will explore what the people want for the district. Help bring jobs here and lessen the burden of the federal government on everyone here at home. You have to have the input of those you represent to have true representation. A simple process that Washington has forgotten, in my mind.

Has the political scene changed much in the past few months? Will that help you?

Simply yes and yes! The liberals who are running this country are doing things that have never been done before to our nation.

We are having massive pieces of legislation being brought up to be passed without voting. This is an abomination to the Constitution (no pun intended) and this kind of government will solidify true conservative values that most people hold and it will permanently damage the Democratic Party.

You are seeing all sorts of Democrats backing down on this health-care bill—some are smarter than others, and some have a sense of conscience. I applaud those who are standing against this form of government.

Cong. Vic Snyder has been a strong supporter of Little Rock Air Force Base. Will you help the base?

Yes, I will support the military base in Jacksonville. It is a very important part of our community and I will fight to keep it operational and make sure it, like the rest of our military, will have the resources to engage our enemies with full force.

What can we do about health care? What kind of legislation would you support in Congress?

Health-care reform is an overstated phrase. We have the best health care in the world. No one has the technology that we have, and we are the envy of the planet.

However, we do need insurance reform. Open the borders across the country and create competition, eliminate the pre-existing condition rule, have a non-governmental grievance board that will oversee issues with people being dropped by plans and make the insurance companies become entrepreneurial again.

They have not come up with new products for years. A low-cost catastrophic policy is needed for those who do not want insurance that will help in the event of a major issue.

Many in the 32-plus million who the government wants to insure don’t want to pay for full insurance. We need products that deal with that type issue. Baby steps, not an overhaul. Common sense!

When it comes to health- care cost and taxes, what can we do to lessen the burden on individuals and small businesses?

I believe that some of the previous answer addressed the issues with individuals. However, small business is another deal altogether. Small business cannot be taxed any further, period. It is very hard to make a living as a small-business owner as it stands now.

If the government adds more cost to our plates, we will be in crisis and it will bring this country down. We employ over 75 percent of the people in the nation and we are the most heavily taxed in the nation. To add to the burden is a mistake, it will send unemployment through the roof and the economy will take a huge hit or collapse.

You cannot strangle the engine of the economy and not expect disastrous results. Most small business that I know of cannot incur health-care cost, much less have the IRS enforcing all of these regulations. Get the federal government out of small business.

How do we restart the economy?

There are two very simple-sounding ways; stop the federal government from spending and give the people their money back.

This is much more difficult to enact, but it is the basis for sound growth in our economy. You and I have to balance the checkbook, why shouldn’t Congress? They are consistently spending more than they take in, and are not listening to the country telling them to stop. We have got to cut out earmarks and pork for the time being and possibly forever.

Our Constitution has been trampled by Congress, both parties are guilty. The Constitution does not give Congress the right to spend where it spends and force things like health care on the people, it just doesn’t. If the government spends less, taxes go down and the people have more disposable income, they will re-generate the economy.

Don’t give me tax breaks to hire the unemployed. Give the people the money to spend in my business and I will hire the unemployed. Again, chicken before the egg; where is the common sense?

What does your family think about you running for Congress?

They understand that God has given me a servant’s heart and they know how seriously I take that responsibility, so this has been no surprise for them. They have come to expect that I will step up to the plate. All of my girls are very supportive.