Allen Touts Husband’s Agenda
Less Small-Business Regulation, More Jobs Discussed In Two-Day Area Visit
Posted: October 6, 2012
Robert B. Frazier (left-center), president of Frazier Quarry, gives a tour of the rock quarry to Susan Allen, wife of Senate candidate George Allen, on Friday afternoon. Also pictured are employees Larry Earls, Jeff Showman and Ron Foley (left to right in background) and Rob Frazier (far right). (Photos by Stephen Mitchell / DN-R)
Susan Allen, wife of Senate candidate George Allen, speaks with employees at Frazier Quarry in Harrisonburg while on a tour of the mining facility Friday afternoon.
Susan Allen speaks with Frazier Quarry workers while on a tour of the Harrisonburg mining facility Friday. She spent two days in the central Valley on behalf of her husband and U.S. Senate candidate, George Allen.
Former Gov. George Allen, who lost a re-election attempt to the Senate in 2006, is in a tight race with Democrat Tim Kaine, another former governor. Democrat Jim Webb, who defeated Allen six years ago, is retiring.
Election Day is Nov. 6.
On Friday, Susan Allen met with Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Republicans for their monthly luncheon in the city before touring Frazier Quarry Inc.’s main processing plant on Buttermilk Creek Road just north of the city.
On Thursday, she spoke at Holtzman Propane in Mount Jackson on her way to the evening rally for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, in Fishersville. Political pundits say the winner of the Allen-Kaine race will likely be tied to the victor of the presidential election in Virginia.
To that end, Kaine was in Fairfax on Friday to campaign with President Barack Obama. Kaine is former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Susan Allen’s visit to the quarry was a follow-up to her husband’s recent small-business round-table in Harrisonburg. At her meeting, Frazier Quarry employees expressed displeasure with how their open-pit operations were regulated to the same degree as underground coal-mining businesses.
That forces the quarry to adhere to more and stricter regulations, employees say.
On Friday, President Robert Frazier told Allen that each time a coal-mining disaster occurs, he “cringes,” knowing that more regulations are coming.
“[Inspectors] are looking for blood,” he said.
But employees note that the inspectors are also just doing their jobs. Change, they say, must come from the federal government, which sets the rules.
Susan Allen said her husband can help by reducing the number of regulations and decreasing energy costs by making America more energy independent.
“We need common sense,” Frazier said. “That’s all we’re talking about, common sense, for Pete’s sake.”
During a presentation to Holtzman employees and a few residents Thursday, Allen also touched on regulations affecting small businesses, as well as job creation. She said in the 18 months she’s been traveling for her husband’s campaign, she’s heard a lot of similar answers to questions she asks small-business owners.
“The story is about the same,” she said. “They’ve had to let employees go, ‘The mandated health care is killing us.’”
When George Allen was the governor of Virginia, she said, government regulations were reduced by around 70 percent at the state level.
“We can do that at a federal level,” she said. “We do know how to do it efficiently.”
Todd Holtzman, manager at Holtzman Propane and a Mount Jackson Town Council member, said energy policies are “near and dear to us.”
He said the size and accessibility of the company means he hears about it when members of the community are unhappy or struggling.
“You can’t pick up the phone and call ExxonMobil, but you can pick up the phone and call [us],” Holtzman said.
He plans to run for the state Senate seat occupied by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, if Obenshain’s bid for attorney general in 2013 is successful.
Another audience member asked about George Allen’s welfare policies.
“If we have jobs, people should want to have the dignity of a job,” Susan Allen said. “The federal government is not there to be the momma for everyone all of the time.”
She said her husband would work to jump-start job growth by, among other things, working to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care plan, and by introducing a bill “right away” to explore drilling options off Virginia’s coast.
During the campaign, Susan Allen has traveled to many towns and cities in Virginia to “hear what’s on the minds of the voters.”
“My job is never complete unless I go home and tell George something I heard on the road,” she said.
Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or email@example.com