This weekend, Ed Stack – Chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods – joined me on the program with additional insights on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Tim Burns – Republican candidate to replace the late John Murtha in PA-12 – also joined me with some campaign updates.
Dick’s Sporting Goods: The Story
Ed is a terrific entrepreneur and businessman. He took over his father’s two upstate New York bait and tackle shops in 1984, and grew them into a leading national sporting goods company that now employs over 30,000 people nationwide (and 3,000 people here in Pittsburgh). Like the many other entrepreneurs who have appeared on this program, Ed recognizes that successful entrepreneurs work hard, surround themselves with the right team of people, develop and implement a compelling plan for growth, treat their customers with respect, honor their investors, and take care of their employees. Real entrepreneurs must also exercise great leadership ability and decision making skills if they hope to succeed in business. Ed has made these tough calls, and in 1994 decided to move Dick’s national headquarters to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in order to better facilitate the company’s rapid growth. Ed assessed the situation and realized that Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams, access to a large international airport, and the reasonable cost of living made Pittsburgh an ideal choice for Dick’s new headquarters. You can listen to my previous interview with Ed here.
Like most business leaders (including myself) Ed worries about the future business climate in this country. No matter how established an individual company is, the wrong economic policies, exploding national debt, and increasing government regulations could still result in poor economic performance. When that happens, employees lose their jobs and benefits, investors lose money, and customers lose access to products they rely on.
Today is Election Day in Pennsylvania
I believe that the best way to preserve our independence and freedom is by electing Conservative law makers who understand economics and will work to preserve our Constitutional rule of law. Today, Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to elect a new representative to replace former Congressman John Murtha. Even though Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 in PA-12, this race is very competitive. The Democrat nominee Mark Critz, a former Murtha aide, has been running a very dishonest campaign, telling Pennsylvanians that businessman Tim Burns supports a 23% tax increase for all Americans. This is simply a lie. FactCheck.org has called the claim “quite misleading.” WPGH-TV stopped airing the advertisements (paid for by Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) on Friday. And Mark himself has apologized for misrepresenting Tim’s record during a debate on April 28th. Tim says, “not only am I not in favor of a 23% tax increase, I signed a ‘no new taxes pledge’ early in the campaign. You can watch Burns’ TV ad response here.
If elected to Congress, Tim promises to fight for the full repeal of ObamaCare, the reduction of government spending, a balanced national budget, an end to government corruption, and tax cuts. I have endorsed Tim because he really cares about our state and our country, and would be an effective advocate for pro-growth economic policies. The bottom line is that conservatives have a real opportunity to pick up this congressional seat. We need to assess the situation, realize that Tim is a true conservative who supports limited government and pro-growth economic policies, and support him for U.S. Congress. If we do, then we will be one seat closer to taking back control of the House in November 2010. Visit timburnsforcongress.com/ for more information.
I have also endorsed Sam Rohrer for Governor, Pat Toomey for U.S. Senate, and Keith Rothfus for PA-4. You can read more about my endorsements here. Today is a terrific day in our Democracy. All registered voters have the opportunity to voice their displeasure with the tax, borrow, and spend agenda perpetuated on both the state and national levels. Whether or not you agree with my endorsements, please use today’s opportunity to make informed decisions at the ballot box. And encourage other registered voters to do the same. The future of our country depends on it.
Some other news Items
I also commented on Elena Kagen’s recent nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. We don’t know much about this candidate. She has a complete lack of judicial experience, has very limited litigation experience, and has not written extensively on the proper role of a judge. But what we do know is cause for concern. She has written a law review article, where she agreed with the idea that the Court primarily exists to look out for the “despised and disadvantaged,” rather than to uphold the rule of law. As a law clerk in 1987, she said that she was “not sympathetic” to the “constitutional right to ‘keep and bear arms’.” And of course, as Harvard Dean, she violated federal law by banning military recruiters from using the school’s Office of Career Services, because of the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I hope the GOP Senators do their job and fully investigate this nominee before allowing the confirmation vote to proceed.
Finally, I commented on the Democrats’ refusal to address the real causes of the recent financial collapse in their so-called “financial reform” bill. Last week, Senate Democrats again opposed Republican efforts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the GSEs that contributed to the housing bubble by promoting mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. But this opposition to logical reform is nothing new. In 2003 and 2005, Democrats – led by Rep. Barney Frank – thwarted similar GOP efforts. Fannie and Freddie have now received a total of $145 billion in tax payer funds, a cost that is equal to $7 billion per month since Obama’s bailout program began.
These tax, borrow, and spend policies are simply unsustainable, and we must vote the Liberal, “Progressive,” Democrat Socialists who promote these policies out of office. Please remember to vote today and together we can take back this country.
Have a great week.
Glen Meakem is a successful technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and conservative talk radio show host, who offers information and insights on how individuals and our nation can be more successful. Glen’s unique perspective has been shaped by his experiences as founder, chairman and CEO of the B2B internet success Freemarkets Inc – which he founded in 1995, took public in 1999, and sold to Ariba in 2004. In 2005, Glen co-founded Meakem Becker Venture Capital, a firm that invests in early stage start up companies. Concerned about the liberal political agenda that has gripped the United States and his home state of Pennsylvania, Glen launched the Glen Meakem Program in 2008. Glen served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve and is a veteran of the First Gulf War. He also earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard and his MBA from Harvard Business School. For more information about Glen and the Glen Meakem Radio Program, or to read his blog, please visit http://glenmeakem.com.