June 1, 2009 7:00 AM CDT

Success On The Hill

President’s Message

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Left to right: Matt Keelen (MCAA Lobbyist), Eric Dell (Congressman Wilson's Chief of Staff), Mike Sutter (MCAA Region G Vice President), Jeff Buczkiewicz (MCAA Executive Director), Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC 2nd), Frank Campitelli (MCAA Past President), Roy Swindal (MCAA Region B Vice President), Tom Daniel (MCAA President) and Damian Lang (MCAA Marketing Committee Chairman)
Left to right: Matt Keelen (MCAA Lobbyist), Eric Dell (Congressman Wilson's Chief of Staff), Mike Sutter (MCAA Region G Vice President), Jeff Buczkiewicz (MCAA Executive Director), Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC 2nd), Frank Campitelli (MCAA Past President), Roy Swindal (MCAA Region B Vice President), Tom Daniel (MCAA President) and Damian Lang (MCAA Marketing Committee Chairman) | Enlarge Photo
The MCAA has just completed another successful legislative conference, held April 20-22 in Washington, D.C. This year, we had good attendance and increased the focus of our efforts. We felt we would get better results if we concentrated on two full days of appointments with our legislators. To do this, the association relied on the MCAA’s legislative advocacy firm, “The Keelen Group.” Matt Keelen, president and owner of The Keelen Group, had quite the agenda laid out for us. Matt and his associates had us scheduled with consecutive appointments. He had us divide into groups of three to four, so we could concentrate our efforts. I, along with our other attendees saw as many as 10 to 14 legislators. We were able to provide them with information related to our business concerns such as estate taxes, immigration reform, OSHA regulations (silica), military construction (MilCon), etc.

I must say, we were well received by both republican and democratic leaders. All were interested in hearing about how our businesses were doing and what impact the economic downturn has had on us. It was interesting to see the different mindset between the two parties. My Congressman, Darrell Issa, even took the time to step out of a committee meeting to hear our issues. The biggest divide between the two parties seems to be the out-of-control increased spending by the democrats. This is a challenging issue, because the republicans feel that additional burden onto small business hurts everyone. I personally agree with this. We, as small business people, provide the majority of the jobs in the country. If you add to our already overloaded burden, we will be forced to cut jobs in order to survive. This does nothing to help the economy. Hopefully, as the debate continues there can be some compromise and the burden on small business will be eased.

As a member of the MCAA, I encourage you to become involved in this process. Let your legislators know of your concerns. Remember, they are there to serve the people, not the other way around.


About the Author

Tom Daniel, owner of GBC Concrete and Masonry Construction, Inc. in Lake Elsinore, Calif., has worked in the masonry industry since the 1980s. During that time, he has volunteered countless hours for the masonry industry locally in California and on the national scale. Daniel spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as President from 2008-2010 and was the recipient of the 2011 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award.

 

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