DNC CHAIRMAN TERRY McAULIFFE IN TAMPA-Andrew Stelzer05/21/04
With the election less than 6 months away, the focus on swing states, and swing regions will be bringing both political parties to the Tampa bay area. Today, the chairman of both the democratic and republican parties were in Tampa. His morning, Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the Democratic national committee held a press conference at Books For Thought on North 56th street. Mcauliffe said he thinks Novembers election will once again come down to Florida, but the focus of todayâ€™s event was George Bushâ€™s lack of support for small businesses.
ACT â€˜He ended the small business programâ€¦
McAuliffe pointed out that John Kerry used to own a small business, a cookie store in Massachusetts, and listed a few of the policies John Kerry will institute to support small business. They included help with health care, a cabinet level representative, and a seat at the WTO.
ACT â€˜John Kerry will â€¦
Several small business owners also spoke; they said that the high cost of health insurance of their employees is one of the largest obstacles they face when trying to keep their business afloat. Belinda Alonzo is the Secretary of the Hispanic chamber of Commerce; she also owns a small medical billing company. Alonzo said the cost of medical insurance is making it hard for her to treat her employees with decency.
ACT â€œThe rising cost of health insurance and workers comp I have 34 insurance â€¦Iâ€™m paying $6,000/mo on health insuranceâ€¦it keeps going up.â€?
Mary Ann founts owns Mise en Place, a restaurant in Tampa.
ACT â€œI love what I do but it has been a struggle, the area of health insurance despite the fact that we spend 40 thousand a yearâ€¦I cant provide health insurance.
WMNF asked McAuliffe about the possibility of a nation health care plan to solve the problem. â€œAre we gonna have national health care, but well have something close to itâ€¦â€?
State representative Arthenia Joyner said that President Bushâ€™s priorities have been to support large corporations.She said that Joyner said that 90 percent of the businesses in Florida are small businesses., and they are struggling to survive
ACT â€œAt the same time her has abandoned small businesses, he has bent over backwards to help Halliburton. This is unacceptableâ€¦
Joyner also added that there is a need for jobs throughout the country.
ACT â€œIts not enough to have a great business plan, if your customers donâ€™t have money to buy products.
Restaurant owner Mary Ann Founts said that she hopes if John Kerry is elected, he will follow through on his promise to give small business owners a voice. She worries that big-box stores like Wal-Mart have too much influence in the government.
ACT â€˜ I donâ€™t think anyone is saying there need to be no big box stores.right now they have a seat at the table, but we have none. There needs
Reporters asked McAuliffe about the appearance of Ed Gillespie, the Republican National Committee chairman across town later in the afternoon to speak about the No Child Left behind Act. He said he wished Gillespie a good press conference, but wondered what the administration could brag about when it comes to education.
ACT â€œHere in Florida you had a mandate to reduce class sizes so you made 12th grade optionalâ€¦we cant do that â€¦â€? â€œYou drive up and down the I-4 corridor, they have trailers for classroomsâ€¦you know what happened, unfunded mandatesâ€¦.Virginia is opting out..all talk no rhetoric.â€?
Meanwhile, across townâ€¦â€¦