Thursday night Graydon’s Crossing hosted a town hall meeting for Keith Allard, candidate for state representative for Michigan’s 76th district in Grand Rapids. The restaurant’s upper room was full of a variety of people who showed up to hear Allard speak and answer questions from the crowd.
Allard’s focus was on limiting government, ending crony capitalism, and enforcing the same standards across the board for all parties, not just those with connections. When he opened the discussion up for questions, many of those who attended wanted to know about small business topics, as well as his positions on taxation, the role of government, and keeping politicians accountable to the people they represent.
A number of people in the crowd seemed quite concerned about governmental overreach, a topic that has been on the minds of many during the past months when the news has been full of stories about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, and NSA spying. Allard brought up his own experience working in government in Lansing as opposed to working in the private sector (and owning a small business) and stated that the profit incentives that drive businesses to work hard, succeed, and innovate, are not present in government, and the accountability of government workers to the public is indirect at best.
Allard made a point of stating a clear preference for across-the-board standards for big and small business so as not to penalize the average Joe with regulations not enforced for those with money and influence. He also said that one of his key goals as a representative would be to reform the prison system, where spending remains much higher than comparable states.
When questioned about corroding infrastructure and commonly used state and municipal assets such as Michigan’s infamous roads, he stated that, the money saved by cutting back on prison spending could easily be spent on roads, and if it had been spent on roads a decade ago we would not have our road problems today. It is simpler and cheaper to maintain assets than it is to replace them, Allard said.