Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 43
 
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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Scott Sipprelle Cites “Economic Security” as Key Issue for Voters

Dilshanie Perera

Princeton resident Scott Sipprelle is running for the seat in Congress for the 12th District and is the Republican challenger to Democratic incumbent Rush Holt. With a background in business and money management, Mr. Sipprelle seeks to bring skills and knowledge acquired in the financial world to solve problems in government. Below is his perspective on the state of the nation, and an elaboration on what he seeks to achieve.

The key issue for the voters of the 12th District are “all pocketbook issues. It’s jobs, and job security, and taxes. It’s really economic security, broadly speaking,” Mr. Sipprelle acknowledged. “We have an outright jobs crisis in America. Who is the person who can go in there with the real experience it takes to create business and sustain and grow jobs?”

Emphasizing his belief in term limits “because it breaks this allegiance to party politics,” Mr. Sipprelle noted that while intentions may be genuine, “after 12 years, the process and the office changes you,” hence the need for a limit.

The decision voters will have to make at the polls will be “who is the right agent with the right experience for these times?” Mr. Sipprelle suggested.

Pointing out a philosophical divide between himself and his opponent, he said that “it’s a question of whether we embrace free enterprise or whether we embrace government solutions and government controls to micromanage more and more of our economy.”

Mr. Sipprelle grew up in Princeton, and worked in the financial industry. “I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I can rechannel some of my good fortune and my experience to help people. Not just in terms of public service or running for office, but in terms of what Tracy and I have done with our charity, starting businesses, micro-lending in Trenton, educational scholarships. There’s a huge disadvantaged class in America that needs to be helped. Do we create the empowerment for them to find self-reliance, or do we just dictate more governmental control and more governmental dependence?”

Urging against automatically funneling more money to programs, Mr. Sipprelle said “It’s almost as if more money is a panacea, and I fault Rush Holt for always saying it’s about more money.”

“Problem solving always starts at the core. Let’s make sure it works at the micro level before we max it out,” he added.

Saying that he remains optimistic that more people with similar perspectives and a similar “sense of urgency” will enter Congress, Mr. Sipprelle emphasized that “I am going there to get things done.”

Characterizing the current Congress as “defunct” and “ineffectual,” Mr. Sipprelle noted, “I fault Nancy Pelosi for bringing an absolute, rigid, ideological partisanship.”

“I have no illusions regarding the fact that through this process is hard, the hardest job is still ahead of me. [Congress] is a broken institution. It is rigidly partisan, complex, layered with bureaucracy and seniority issues,” he added. Building coalitions among other like-minded colleagues in the interest of solving problems is Mr. Sipprelle’s plan. “I don’t want to just put the Republicans on top and end up with the exact same problems that the Democrats are having.”

Key issues and modes of action for Mr. Sipprelle include “extracting the dagger from the back of business, especially small business,” and “auditing the effectiveness of every single government program.”

“One of the themes you’ll hear me talking about is assessment. That’s my business background,” Mr. Sipprelle acknowledged. “We need to start asking different sorts of questions. All I’m asking are the obvious questions that need to be asked when a system begins to break down: Are we spending money in the right place?”

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