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Alan Lowenthal - In Addition
LBBJ: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Lowenthal: A lot of people say, and my opponent will say it, that I am anti-business. I have a reputation among some in the business community – Randy Gordon [Long Beach Chamber of Commerce] and others – that I am anti-business. I think that is the most ludicrous statement I have ever heard. When I first started [working on] the ports, I was seen as the devil. I was going to destroy the entire port community. And the port communities really came out real strong. . . but over the years I have developed a great relationship, have saved them so much money and have provided them so many resources that they have all become great supporters of mine. So I’ll give you an example. I have a quote, right now, that was sent to me from Maersk. They have done two fundraisers for me – one in Washington D.C. because the head of U.S. Maersk is the head of the petroleum club in Washington, the national petroleum club, and then they also did one out here at Pier 400. They wrote this to me, and I am going to read it. “Maersk has had the opportunity to work with Senator Lowenthal in his capacity as chairman of the California State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and the subcommittee on California ports and goods movement, and have always found him to be approachable, thoughtful, well reasoned and supportive. He’s played a leadership role in bringing the international goods movement industry into cooperative ventures with the State of California through an ability to find common ground. Over the span of his career in local and state government, he has had a very broad experience across many different sectors of commerce, and we believe he would be an excellent addition to the U.S. Congress.”
LBBJ: Three quick items. Is there one piece of legislation you would push for if elected?
Lowenthal: I think we need a national freight policy. . . . California, our region, will thrive if we have a national policy on the way we move freight; that will guide funding at the national level. It’s always an add-on in terms of the transportation acts, and we’re always in competition with everyone.
LBBJ: Is there something that the president has done in his first term you disagree with?
Lowenthal: Sometimes I would have liked him to stand up stronger, or have taken more of a lead. He kept pushing it back to the Congress sometimes, especially when there was inactivity in the Congress and we weren’t getting anywhere. Having said that, I just think he inherited an enormous problem . . .
LBBJ: Several of your answers seem to have a theme of blaming the Republicans . . .
Lowenthal: I’m not blaming the Republicans. . . . It’s the tea partiers. It’s the right-wing, tea partiers. I’m saying that moderate Republicans wanted to negotiate with the governor in California. Mr. Boehner and others, they would not do it.
LBBJ: That’s not the question.
Lowenthal: They are controlled by people who say no to everything.
LBBJ: How do you accomplish compromise when smart people, who are representing the citizens of this country, are at odds on just about every single issue?
Lowenthal: Well, I don’t think they are. I think that the extremes are that way. And I think I have demonstrated the ability to compromise. I think I am known in the state legislature as one the most effective legislators, and one of the few legislators that can get Republicans to vote for my bills. I work with them because I identify Republican issues.
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