Business groups endorsing Harper

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008

With only three weeks remaining before the Nov. 4 generalelection, Mississippi 3rd Congressional District candidate GreggHarper pulled his big blue charter bus into Brookhaven once againTuesday to publicly accept the support of several state andnational business groups.

The Pearl Republican stood on the steps of theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning toreceive the endorsements of organizations such as the MississippiAssociation of Realtors, the National Federation of IndependentBusiness and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“These are incredible endorsements,” Harper said. “Made up ofgood working folks whose small businesses are the backbone of oureconomy.”

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Harper said the endorsements signify to him that the state’sbusiness owners are falling in line with his own desire fordecreased regulations and the need to “turn businesses loose.”

“Folks who are trying to make a living understand we’reconcerned about those issues that affect their business on a dailybasis – which means sometimes getting government out of the way,”he said.

Harper faces Democrat Joel Gill, of Pickens in the Novemberelection.

If elected, Harper said his plans for the U.S. House ofRepresentatives include attempting to reduce the tax burden onsmall businesses and working to help them find affordable insuranceplans for their employees.

Harper also said accounting regulations may need modification,and he is a proponent of drilling for oil in Alaska and expandingdrilling in the Gulf of Mexico to lessen energy costs.

“There are many things you can do to improve the environmentbusiness-wise that don’t cost the taxpayer an arm and a leg,” hesaid. “We need to support businesses, not be a burden, and in manyways government has become a burden.”

NFIB State Director Ron Aldridge said his organization chose toendorse Harper because the candidate’s small government stance.

“He stands for the same things that our members stand for,”Aldridge said. “He’s for actually balancing a budget in Washington,something families and small business folks have to do everymonth.”

Aldridge said Harper’s most attractive quality was his desire tohelp small businesses obtain affordable health insurance, which hecalled the “number one” problem for small businesses since the1980s. Government-sponsored insurance, Aldridge said, is “certainlynot a solution for small businesses.”

“If we put [Harper’s] principles to work in Washington,Washington will be able to get off our backs and we can begin togrow this economy,” he said.