With the high cost of running a statewide election campaign, the compact New England state of Rhode Island represents something of a bargain for Republican Senate hopeful Barry Hinckley, he tells Newsmax.TV.
“I only have to raise $2.5 million — $2.5 million to send a business friendly representative on behalf of Rhode Island to the U.S. Senate,” exclaimed Hinckley, who started Bullhorn Software,which now employs 150 people and generates more than $25 million in revenue.
In neighboring Massachusetts, fellow Republican Scott Brown needs $30 million to retain his Senate seat, Hinckley said in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview on Thursday.
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“A businessman like me representing Rhode Island sends not only a great message that Rhode Island’s again open for business, but the U.S. Senate will become in Republican hands and we can roll back the devastating tax code that we have, and the devastating regulations that are driving businesses offshore.”
With only 39 cities and towns spread across a mere 1,200 square miles, Rhode Island is also one of the most logistically manageable states to help the GOP regain control of the Senate.
“Last summer I rode my bike 400 miles through all 39 cities and towns — meeting voters along the way,” said Hinckley, adding that he is already leading incumbent Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in polls among Rhode Islanders who are familiar with him.
“It’s a real opportunity for a pickup — not only in Rhode Island, but for America.”
Hinckley said that the incumbent is particularly vulnerable with a 29 percent approval rating.
“I tell people in Rhode Island this all the time. If you believe that more government, more taxes, and more regulation is the way out of the mess we’re in — because everyone agrees we’re in a mess financially and on the jobs front — then Sheldon Whitehouse is your answer because his whole life as a career politician — 29 years — has been all about more jobs, more taxes, and more regulation,” Hinckley charged.
Hinckley’s forebear, Col. James Barrett, commanded the Minutemen of Concord and was said to have fired one of the first shots at the advancing British across the North Bridge. Col. Barrett’s family farm still stands today as a local landmark.
The Ocean State has been particularly hard hit by the nation’s economic downturn, and Hinckley insists that the major issue for Rhode Island voters is “jobs, jobs, jobs” with an unemployment rate that reached 11 percent last month and still appears to be climbing. Hinckley started BullHorn in the Boston area, and the company has met with huge success.
“Rhode Islanders need work. Many Rhode Islanders can’t find their first job and many Rhode Islanders in fact are stuck in a dead-end job and can’t get a better job,” Hinckley explained. “The American way has always been if you work hard you will be rewarded by climbing the ladder to a better and better job. And unfortunately that’s not the case in Rhode Island today.”
He said that government regulation is choking commercial fishing and other industries that represent the life’s blood of the U.S. economy.
“We have a heritage rich in commercial fishing. That is part of who we are, but unfortunately today because of over-regulation, for every commercial fisherman on the water, there are four regulators on land,” declared Hinckley. “That is horrible. It’s killing our industry — our commercial fishing industry — just one more example of government gone wrong.”
He said large foreign vessels enjoy an unfair advantage over U.S. fishing companies in federal waters. “We have boats that are tied up on the dock while international vessels are off fishing for our fish because our federal regulators say we can’t fish certain times and certain places — and of course, the international people don’t abide by the same rules and we’re going to end up losing. It’s tragic,” insisted Hinckley, who traveled to Washington, D.C., recently to show his support for changes to fishing regulations.
“Interestingly, our entire delegation from Rhode Island, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse who I’m running against, didn’t show up to support our commercial fishermen,” said Hinckley, who promises to treat taxpayers like investors if he is elected.
“First and foremost, you learn to respect your investors which in the case of government is taxpayers, and in my world were my actual investors,” Hinckley explained, adding that he signed more than 16,000 paychecks in his own experience of “growing and nurturing” a business.
“I watch the kids that I hired out of schools in Rhode Island and Massachusetts,” he said. “I watched these kids pursue their own American dream, rent their first apartment their parents didn’t pay for, buy their first car their parents didn’t give them — begin to flourish as young men and women through this company that I built. It was absolutely an amazing experience and really taught me what the American dream was all about.”
Hinckley believes that most U.S. businesspeople — if given a fair opportunity to compete — would prefer to make their products in America.
“In fact I’ve never met a businessman or a businesswoman that wants to make things offshore,” he proclaimed. “They don’t export jobs. Our tax code and our regulation does. Rhode Island is a prime example of this.”
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