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Tuesday
Nov022010

Small Businesses Stoke Anti-Incumbent Fever

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEEDHAM, Massachusetts) -- Massachusetts resident Frederick Muzi says he doesn't believe in government bailouts and hopes his vote against incumbent Rep. Barney Frank, a fixture in the House for nearly 30 years, expresses that.

Muzi, whose family has owned a Chevrolet and Ford car dealership in Needham, Massachusetts for 75 years, even opposed the federal government's bailout of General Motors last year. He would have preferred GM enter bankruptcy without government sponsorship.

"They made mistakes, let them pay for it," said Muzi about General Motors. "It would have hurt us as a Chevy dealer, but we would have dealt with it."

For the closely-watched Massachusetts congressional race, Muzi is voting for Republican Sean Bielat against Democrat Frank. Muzi believes Frank, chair of the financial services committee, is responsible for the crash of the economy because of his support of the auto-bailout and the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to shore up the soured mortgage markets.

Muzi is one of many business owners who say too much government and the auto and financial bailouts have only exacerbated the economy. "If the economy goes, then our business and our family will go," said Muzi. "It's up to us to cope with whatever economic conditions there are, but it's a lot better when the economy is right."

The troublesome economy is why some small business owners are voting against incumbent politicians and ushering in new, conservative faces, often backed by local Tea Party groups.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses, a lobbying association, decided to endorse Bielat over Frank because of his voting record on what it believes are key issues for small businesses.

"Mr. Frank opposes us on all major issues," said Lisa Goeas, vice president for political operations of the Federation. These issues include healthcare and the Employee Free Choice Act, which Goeas said would force small business owners to recognize unions without a secret ballot. "And he's for 'cap and trade' and President Obama's healthcare reform bill, which represents billions of new taxes and fees by small business owners."

Goeas said the Federation has about 800 members in Rep. Frank's district who will most likely be voting for Bielat instead because he has been "very vocal on tax and spend issues" and a "more user-friendly tax code."

"He has a very influential position but he hasn't chosen to use it to the advantage of small business," she said.

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