By Marilyn Miller
Beacon Journal staff writer
Millionaire Tom Ganley of Brecksville, who owns 32 car dealerships in Ohio, is counting on his success as a businessman in his bid for the 13th District seat in Congress.
Ganley, a Republican running against Democratic incumbent Betty Sutton, spoke at the Akron Press Club Tuesday.
The 13th District covers Summit, Cuyahoga, Medina and Lorain counties.
Ganley centered his speech on the fiscal responsibility of government.
''More than any other issue, we must balance our budget and reduce our national debt,'' he said. ''We have to take back our country.''
Ganley said many job seekers have given up and new college graduates are not able to start their careers.
''We're losing it when the great American middle class is sliding backwards financially, when their homes are worth less than they paid for them, when their savings disappear, when they are afraid of losing their jobs. . . . We're losing our country when our people fear their political leaders are going off in some new direction.''
Ganley attacked the cost of changes to health care.
''If we [Republicans] are fortunate enough to take back the House, we can refuse to fund it,'' he said. ''And if there is no funding for it, it will wither on the vine.''
He also attacked cap-and-trade legislation, calling the market-based approach to reducing pollution bad economics and bad business.
''It is in no way clear that alternative energy sources like wind and solar power can in fact supply at any price the necessary amounts of energy that can fuel our economy,'' he said. ''At best, it can replace a small portion of our needs.''
A supporter of nuclear power, Ganley said it is far more effective and productive.
He spoke of 150 government agencies that have outlived their usefulness and talked about eliminating them. He would also eliminate funding for the arts.
Ganley was asked why he changed positions on the effectiveness of the Cash for Clunkers program, stating initially that it was a success then calling it a failure.
Ganley last year said the Cash for Clunkers program stimulated business. His dealerships benefited by selling 900 cars.
But Tuesday, Ganley said, he wanted to set the record straight, calling the program a ''classic failure.''
He said the ''true test'' of the program was total sales for the
year. In 2008, 13.1 million cars were sold, compared to 10 million in 2009, when the program was launched.
Ganley attacked government for thinking that private industry can be bigger and stronger if government is bigger and stronger.
''We are losing our country when small businesses cannot get the capital to grow and large businesses feel they have to defend themselves against their own government.''
He attacked incumbents, accusing them of knowing nothing about business and only knowing how to keep their jobs and being obligated to their contributors.
Ganley is financing his campaign with his own money.
''We need leaders in Washington that absolutely understand what it means to create and manage a budget,'' he said. ''What it means to hire people and meet a payroll. What is required to build a business plan that will work not only next quarter, but also next year and five and 10 years down the road.''
He said he is proud of his record as a businessman.
''I'm proud to say my dealerships sell more cars in Ohio than anyone else and in the past 42 years have had over 2 million customers and hired over 5,000 people.''
Ganley said if elected, he would lower tax rates to stimulate the economy and create jobs and help small businesses by providing access to capital.
He said he would ''restructure the country's global trade policies to work for the American worker, eliminate taxes on Social Security, control our borders, stop illegal immigration and say no to amnesty.''
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.