Republican Senate Candidate Rob Simmons says he's changed his mind on two key issues since supporting them as a congressman. As WNPR's John Dankosky reports, Simmons says the reversals came after he spent time as the state's business advocate.
When asked on WNPR's Where We Live to name his biggest mistake while serving as the 2nd district Representitive, Simmons rattled off two votes: One on pro-union "card check" legislation that would make it easier to form unions. He said his tour of the state while working as business advocate changed his mind:
"I visited 400 businesses around the state of Connecticut, small and medium sized businesses, mostly to solve their problems. But in the discussions I had with these businesses, certain issues came up that they were concerned about: Energy costs, taxes, the costs of labor. And when you got into the costs of labor, the issue of 'card check' came up and these businesses were almost unanimously opposed to it."
That bill was co-sponsored by Simmons, along with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Dennis Kucinich. It was never passed. Simmons has taken heat for the reversal from John Olsen, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, who's said the change is for "political purposes."
The other vote Simmons would take back was on "Cap and Trade" legislation that was meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the climate. Four years after co-sponsoring the bill, Simmons says, he's not even sure the climate needs protection from carbon dioxide emissions.
"It’s nice to have a definitive answer if there is a definitive answer. I’m not convinced there is a definitive answer. I’ve read a number of books on both side of the issue and I think it’s basically part of a discussion that is ongoing. I’m continuing to educate myself on the subject and will continue to do so."
Simmons referred to the so-called "Climate Gate" of last year, when scientists were accused of rigging global warming numbers to support their theories. He also said that companies told him that "cap and trade" would be a "jobs killer."
For WNPR, I'm John Dankosky.