Three days left: Why we have what it takes to win!

June 5, 2010

With just a few days left before the primary, I wanted to take a minute and share a few thoughts of encouragement and tell you why we are on the verge of success!

If you are discouraged by the direction this country is headed, disappointed by the acrimony and political power plays in congress, then guess what: You are not alone! A recent USA Today/Gallup poll found that 60 percent of Americans would only vote for someone who has never been in Congress. “Incumbents in general and Democrats in particular face a hot summer,” said the article. Here are a few excerpts:

Two-thirds of those surveyed this week describe themselves as “angry” about the way things are going in the USA, the highest percentage in the decade the question has been asked. By nearly 2-1, they would rather vote for a candidate who has never served in Congress over one with experience.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, head of the GOP Senate campaign committee, says the party has “the wind at our back” and might regain control of Congress.

The poll finds a huge intensity gap between the parties: 50% of Republicans are “extremely motivated” to vote this year; 30% of Democrats are.

“Normally I vote Democrat, but right now I’m not real sure,” says Sherry Havard, 60, of Newton, Texas. “I just don’t like what they’re doing right now.”

Among registered voters, 42% say their view of Obama is “very important” in their vote for Congress.

After weeks of talking with concerned constituents from Coronado to Imperial Beach, I am not surprised by these findings. I have seen and heard your frustration with Obama, Pelosi, and Susan Davis. I know that you are hurt by high taxes that limit free market and squelch this country’s ability to grow economically and create jobs. I have heard your confusion and anger over our broken immigration system and the lack of action from Washington. I feel your bewilderment when your representatives would rather vote strictly with the party or pander to special interests rather than represent YOU. I am a career American like you and I understand and share these sentiments.

That is why this year we must turn things around. The Democrats wanted a chance to show this nation change. Now they’ve had their chance and look where we are. Americans everywhere feel like you do and they are going to do something about it.

With only a few days remaining in the primary stage of this race and I want to tell you why we can show Davis the door. I have been humbled by the incredible efforts of our grassroots network of over 300 people across the district, a much larger network than any one of the other republican candidates in this race. I have also been so encouraged by the clean campaign that we have put together over the last few months, free of backstabbing, bickering, and false accusations. It hasn’t happened in this campaign and I will not do it in congress. My career as a successful businessman has taken me across this country and I understand its unique needs. I know what it takes to make business grow and what true economic growth looks like. Most importantly, I am just like you, a Washington outsider and someone ready to fight for the people!

The statistics show that Americans are ready for fresh faces, with fresh ideas; Americans who are ready to represent their fellow citizens. I don’t believe Susan Davis has done that and I believe she must be held accountable. And while I greatly respect Michael Crimmins, Mari Fink, and C. Mason Weaver, I believe that my experience, my record, my support base, and my campaign show that I have what it takes to challenge Davis and win! I will lower taxes, especially on small businesses and allow the free market to create jobs and boost our economy the way it was meant to. I will secure our borders and actually fix the real problem that has caused rampant illegal immigration. I will fight for our veterans, cut reckless spending and show true discretion with YOUR money. I will listen to you, the people first and foremost. That is my pledge to you.

These past few months have been an incredible experience and I am truly humbled by all of your efforts and support. I am saddened by the direction I have seen this country heading, but the more I have spoken with you and heard your opinions the more I am encouraged that we really can bring back the REAL America! Only three days left, so every hour counts. Spread the word, get out the vote, and on June 8th let’s show San Diego, California, and America that enough is enough!


Campaign and the Family

May 11, 2010

In light of all of the Mother’s Day festivities, I couldn’t help but reflect on where the last 18 months have gone. My daughter has truly been a campaign baby. I call her my patriot in training. Every day when I finish work, I get on the phone and call voters for 3 hours. I can hear my little girl, Nakisa, laughing and squalling with my wife, playing some game or working on a project. Every laugh and giggle I hear from her is one less moment I will be able to spend with her until the campaign has concluded. So I find the best ways possible to spend time with her. She goes out on the campaign trail with me, meets with voters, attends meet and greets and is just a pure joy to be with. However, there are times when I am knocking on doors for 7-8 hours that she cannot be with me. Every door I knock on brings me 1 door closer to being back with my little girl and wife. When someone comes to a door and says they don’t have time or don’t care, I wish I could sit with them and tell them what I am sacrificing to turn our country around.

But I hold back. I think about our brave servicemen and servicewomen away from their families for 6-12 months at a time, with only pictures or some videos to keep in touch. It puts it in perspective my small sacrifice for our country compared to the great sacrifice they make. For those children whose parents are away, I keep knocking on doors so that I can help to bring them back home.

At night, sometimes at one in the morning when I am writing letters to people I have spoken with, I take a few moments and watch her on the baby monitor. She is at peace, sleeping soundly and knows completely what pure love means. What she does not know is that she is going to be entering a very scary world in a few years; a country that is being torn apart by politicians in office who have put our great country on a path of destruction. A country where double talk is standard and political expediency is an everyday term; a country where we would rather know about American Idol contestants than learning about James Madison and the Constitution, and a country that apologizes for being great and special when we should be celebrating our greatness every day.

So what can one person do to fix this? Quite honestly, that is the question for the ages. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked, “How can you make a difference in this corrupt system?” My answer is always the same: our character is judged by the work we do and the weight of our word. In this campaign, I live, sleep and breathe helping the 53rd District. My work ethic is second to none, my word is gold and my convictions are consistent. At one point in history, our statesmen were our heroes. Today, it is a baseball player, a singer or an actor. We can return to a better day when teachers, statesmen, scientists and veterans were our heroes. That is the country I want to live in and that is the country I want for my daughter.

So the next time I knock on your door or call you on the phone, consider dialoguing with me about where our country is going and what part the Representative from the 53rd District should have in that direction. A day is coming when it will be too late to redirect our course and avert a national collapse of freedoms and prosperity. We are so far in debt that our GDP is going to equal our debt payments in a few years. Our military will be gutted to a skeleton of its former self and our education system will be broke because we ran all our companies out of America. This is a country that I refuse to give my daughter. I will struggle to my last breath to take back our country from people who are destroying it and put us back on a path to fiscal responsibility, peace through strength and a generation of children built on the world’s best education system. Our Constitution means something to me and it will mean something to my daughter.

History is a record of individuals doing great things and changing their times. It is also a story of groups of people joining together to resist tyranny and poverty. In running for Congress in the 53rd Congressional District, I seek to be both – both an individual who takes a stand as well as a member of a group of people who challenge their circumstances and accomplish great things together. The group I am referring to is not only the 53rd; it is the millions of Americans across this great land that are joining together right now to reinstate the great principles of government that this land was founded on.

Over the next several weeks I will need any and all support that you can lend to this campaign to change business-as-usual policies in Washington. To help follow the links below:

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Matt Friedman

Dodd and the Dems are in Wall Street’s corner

May 5, 2010

Despite the Democrat’s endless tough talk on Wall Street, no one is doing more to help Goldman Sachs and other giants of the financial industry than Democrats themselves. Ironic isn’t it?

Last week Senate Republicans allowed Chris Dodd’s financial regulation reform bill to be opened for debate on the Senate floor, despite the fact that as it stands, the bill essentially institutionalizes bailouts and furthers the “too big to fail” system. But Republicans are not throwing in the towel, just picking a new battleground.

On April 14, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said this, according to USA Today:

“For nearly two years, the American people have been telling us that any financial reform should have two goals: it should prevent the kind of crisis we experienced in the fall of 2008, and it should ensure that the biggest Wall Street banks pay for their own mistakes. Yet the bill we’re being asked to consider doesn’t even begin to solve these fundamental problems. It exacerbates them.”

The reason Dodd and Harry Ried are having such a tough time with this particular agenda is because they cant even get the Dems on their side. While the majority of Senate Democrats support the Dodd bill, a number, like California Sen. Brad Sherman have been willing to call the bill what it is. According to Politico, “The Dodd bill has unlimited executive bailout authority,” Sherman said on April 19. “That’s something Wall Street desperately wants but doesn’t dare ask for. The bill contains permanent, unlimited bailout authority.”

The Hill reported on Wednesday that Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) was outspoken against the bill which he says will, at best, “be perpetuating the system that we [already] have.”

“Garrett went on to say that Dodd’s bill benefits larger banks at the expense of smaller banks and taxpayers,” The Hill blog said.

But what might be the most telling fact is that Goldman Sachs actually wants this bill, and they’ve said so. Goldman has explicitly stated that it is in favor of regulation. Washington Examiner columnist Timothy Carney explains, “Goldman can play it safe, you see, without needing a regulation. But regulations prevent smaller competitors from taking the risks needed to compete with Goldman.”

Then again, maybe it’s not so confusing, considering that Obama and Goldman Sachs are…shall we say, so well connected? Last week we found out Greg Craig, former Obama advisor will represent Goldman in their SEC civil fraud suit.

Finally, it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that Dems aren’t throwing more than rhetoric at Wall Street. After all, Wall Street contributed a good $12.7 million to democrats during the 2008 election cycle, double what was given to Republicans. The simple fact is that Democrats owe something to Wall Street that Republicans don’t.

Lets initiate some real accountability, some real reform that doesn’t have to cripple Wall Street, but doesn’t institutionalize bailouts, and expand our bloated government either. If you want to help scratch Wall Street’s back, vote Susan Davis. But if its accountability and responsibility you’re looking for, vote Friedman in June!

VAT Chance: Why the Value Added Tax is all wrong

April 13, 2010

Everything has a price. It’s a basic economic principle that most people learn in elementary school, but it seems Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Susan Davis prefer to forget and relearn. Either that or they knew all along that the numbers on the massive healthcare overhaul simply didn’t add up. There is no good answer: Either they were ignorant and somehow missed the massive “hidden” price tag (that pundits and columnists everywhere saw very clearly), or they were not upfront with the American people. Check out the video below:

Charles Krauthammer is right. Obama is not stupid. Now that America has a massive European style healthcare system it needs a massive European style tax to cover it. It appears that Obama and Pelosi’s answer will be a national sales tax or a VAT (value added tax). Last October Pelosi stated that she supported a VAT to generate more federal revenue and on April 6, Paul Volcker, Obama’s economic advisor, suggested that a VAT would be the best way to reduce the deficit.

How would a value added tax work? It would essentially do two things: first, burden the American people and second, expand our already bloated federal government. Here’s a good definition of a national sales tax: “A tax on the estimated market value added to a product or material at each stage of its manufacture or distribution, ultimately passed on to the consumer.” That’s right. You the consumer bear the burden of a national sales tax that would simply be added on top of our already bloated and burdensome tax system. Ron Smith of the Baltimore Sun put it well:

“What’s wrong with this tax? We can begin with the fact that it is the very essence of a regressive tax in that it makes people with lesser incomes pay a far higher percentage of what they have under it than do people with higher incomes”

As a result, we will see a massive step forward in expanding the size of the government. Smith further stated,

“Also, at a time when more and more Americans are aware of and opposed to the relentless growth of government, this is the tax that beyond all others provides the fuel for government gigantism, in part because it is hidden in the price of goods. It is what has made possible the “social democracies” in Europe and the U.K.”

Perhaps Krauthammer himself said it best:

“Obama set out to be a consequential president, on the order of Ronald Reagan. With the VAT [in place], Obama’s triumph will be complete. He will have succeeded in reversing Reaganism… Obama’s strategy is… Expand the beast, and then feed it. Spend first — which then forces taxation.”

I fundamentally believe that it is wrong to burden the American people by taxing them to pay for an enormously expensive new policy that the voters never wanted in the first place. But apparently Obama, Pelosi and Susan Davis feel differently. I believe we desperately need legislators who will represent the voice of the people, pursue fiscal responsibility with vigilance, and reduce taxes and reform the tax code, not add to it. That is what I am fighting for, and I am asking you to join me, send a message, and show Davis (and gross fiscal negligence) the door.


March 26, 2010

It is a sad, bitter irony, this health care story. “We will honor the vows of our founders,” Nancy Pelosi said in her Sunday night speech that I found painful to listen to. “This is an American proposal that honors the traditions of our country.”  And yet, with one stroke of Barack Obama’s pen on Tuesday, a little bit more of the true American tradition crumbled. Apparently Pelosi believes that rejecting the will of the people and manufacturing so-called “rights” to push through a personal and special interest agenda are all part of our great American tradition. I beg to disagree. I believe in a country where the government derives its rightful powers from the people. I believe in a country that protects the rights of the people, not one that creates new rights to justify unpopular policies.

The justification for this law has nothing to do with the true American tradition. “Health care is a right, not a privilege,” Pelosi has said on numerous occasions. If so, what is to stop the likes of Obama and Pelosi from claiming any policy proposal is a new American right? The answer: absolutely nothing. Here’s a startling fact: The Constitution’s of the USSR, Peoples Republic of China and Cuba all state that health care is a human right, not a privilege. Is that really the direction we want to push our nation? Sorry, but I find it hard to see the true American tradition in that. If you’re still unconvinced of the wholly un-traditional direction this reform pushes us, see what Max Baucus, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee had to say this week about the reform:

“This [bill] is also an income shift. It’s a shift, it’s a leveling, to help lower income, middle income Americans. Too often, too…much of late, in the last couple, three years, the mal-distribution of income in America has gone up way too much. The wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy. And the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with the increased income of the highest income Americans. This legislation will have an effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.”

Income shift? mal-distribution?  leveling wealth? Socialism? Exactly. For a great article on why health care isn’t a right, check out this link.

So now what? What should we expect from this new law? A lot more than anyone bargained for, that’s what. The thing that worries me most is how Congress manufactured a bill that would look good in the short term with no good long-term plan. “The bill spends $17 billion in the first four years, while the remaining $923 billion, or 98 percent, is spent in the next six years,” says Philip Klein of the American Spectator. How do we plan to pay for this? Taxes that many economist doubt Congress will ever even get around to passing.

I am sure we have all heard the Democrats claim over and over that the reform will cut $130 billion from the budget. Yet Tobin Harshaw of The New York Times asks,

“When you borrow from yourself, have you really saved money?…About $53 billion of the net deficit reduction is from Social Security taxes…. But since those contributions raise the amount Social Security will eventually have to pay out, the Republicans convincingly argue that this is not true ‘deficit reduction’; it’s just deficit shifting.”

Doug Foster of The National Review argues that “pegging that money to deficit reduction instead of to the continued solvency of Social Security is either naive, disingenuous or both.”

I am saddened and sobered by these facts and realities. But I do not despair. If anything I am more determined to push forward and do everything I can to protect the freedoms and liberties of the people of San Diego and the people of America. We have work to do, that’s for sure, but I don’t see a need for bitterness or cynicism. Lets grit our teeth and do what needs to be done. The American people are ready for real change. A change back to the true American tradition.  Come November, lets all make that change a reality!

The real America. The real Matt.

February 4, 2010

This is not the America we used to know. At some point we all have to stop and ask ourselves what this country was meant to be. Was acrimony and under-the-table politics meant to run rampant in Washington? Was big government and bureaucracy intended to artificially create equal conditions for all? Were special interest groups with deep pockets meant to dictate public policy rather than the people themselves? As I watched Obama give the State of the Union address in January, pushing his liberal agenda by outlining bureaucratic, debt-enlarging policy after policy, I nearly felt sick to my stomach. I don’t believe this is what America was meant to be. I know this isn’t what America has to be either, and I want to do something about it.

I don’t believe in pointing fingers. Much of my life I have dealt with a variety of physical struggles, including arthritis, and I learned early on that casting blame never did me any good. When I accepted reality and tackled my problems head on, progress was possible. And I think the same can be said of this country. Far too much time and energy in Washington is wasted looking for a place to cast the blame. What good does that do us? Focusing on who is responsible for this American decline only sinks us further into the mire of political power plays and bickering. What we should be asking ourselves is, how do we move forward? Well, sometimes the best way to make progress is to look back.

I think this nation, in many ways, has fallen away from its founding and Constitution. The words of James Madison are simple, but profound. “We may define a republic to be…a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices.” In Federalist, No. 45 Madison says, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” Nothing new, right? We learned these principles in middle school. Yet, why have we so quickly forgotten them?

As a businessman and an entrepreneur, I have spent fifteen years living and working in many states across this country. From Illinois to Florida, and Wisconsin to New Jersey, I have seen the diversity of gifts and needs, strengths and weaknesses that the people of America possess. I see that same diversity and strength in the people of San Diego today, and the more I see, the more convinced I become that Thomas Jefferson was right when he said,  “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.”

This country was founded upon the great powers of the people. Policy was meant to be public, not crafted by the rich and powerful for their special interests. Government was created on the premise of virtue and responsibility not corruption and massive welfare programs. I believe that holding public office used to truly be about serving the people. This is the America I believe in. This is the America I believe we need.

I am a student of history. Over the years I have read over 320,000 pages of history and there are few things I enjoy more than reading about and learning from the stunning successes and fatal failures of leaders throughout the ages. The more I study, the more I see that men like Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan saw and understood the real America. These men were true conservatives that recognized the founding principles of this nation. Lee Edwards Ph.D of the Heritage Foundation put it eloquently when he defined conservatism as,

“Ordered liberty. It is a blending of the sometimes contending requirements of the community and the individual, of individual freedom and individual responsibility, of limited government and unlimited markets.”

The early 1950’s saw the truth birth of the conservative movement with Goldwater, Buckley and The National Review at the helm. The 50’s sparked a generation of young people to reconsider the wisdom of big government and New Deal policies. After waning in the years of Lyndon B. Johnson Great Society reforms, Ronald Reagan revived the conservative cause, cutting back big government and re-centering the idea of public policy back on the people. Reagan began to revive the Real America.

Over the years people have said the conservative movement was dead. They said it after Barry Goldwater’s crushing loss to Lyndon B. Johnson in the wake of Kennedy’s assassination. They said it before the unconventional Californian Ronald Reagan became president. They said it in 2007 when a majority in the House and the Senate was recaptured by democrats. However, now things look different.

I believe major republican victories like Scott Brown’s in Massachusetts, as well as victories in Virginia and New Jersey are signaling a turning of the tides. After a year, Obama’s liberal agenda has little to show the American people but a bloated and ineffective healthcare bill stuck in Congress, trillions in debt, and more acrimonious division than ever. Sorry, but that’s not the kind of change this country needs. I truly believe that the American people are becoming tired of what this country has become and they are making their voices heard, just like it should be, from Massachusetts to San Diego.

My wife Lili and I have a beautiful 15-month-old daughter named Nakisa. As I look at my daughter, I know that the decisions I make, and the actions I take today will impact the world she inherits. How can I stand by and watch as our nation is dragged down a path of liberalism and socialism that history has shown is self-destructive?

Friends, I am running for Congress in the 53rd district because I believe in the founding principles that made this country great. I believe in the work of Buckley and Reagan to foster conservatism. I believe in the power of the people and that being a legislator is about serving you, the people. I am running for congress because I believe that my family, the people of this country, and the real America are worth fighting for.