In St. Pete, local Democrats warn against Romney Economics

In a press conference held Tuesday, State Representative Rick Kriseman and St. Petersburg small business owners Larry Biddle (partner of Creative Loafing editor David Warner) and Carla Baker addressed their concerns about Mitt Romney's business policies and his plans for the local economy.

Kriseman warned that Romney, who is running his campaign based on his business experience, isn't using a policy of growth, but rather one of "broken promises and shattered dreams."

Romney is more concerned with making money for himself than in helping small business grow, Kriseman said.

The Republican's policies to bring the United States out of the economic crisis are the same ones that caused the problems, he said.

"(They're) the same policies that drove us into this ditch," Kriseman said. "The progress under Obama would be all for naught."

Baker, a co-owner of Carla's Hair Affair in St. Petersburg, said she has seen her business grow during Obama's administration. Under Republicans, her business suffered.

"(Romney) won't benefit me," she said.

Baker said that Romney's election would likely be detrimental, or even fatal, to Carla's Hair Affair.

She wouldn't be surprised if her salon went bankrupt within four years of Romney's presidency, she said.

Romney Economics, a website launched by the Obama campaign, tracks the progress (and downfall) of companies after Bain Capital took over.

According to the site, at least 2,937 employees at Dade Behring lost their jobs after the takeover. When it declared bankruptcy, Dade owed $1.5 billion. Romney and his partners walked away with $250 million in profits.

In a new video, the Obama for America campaign tracks the destruction of Kansas City's GST Steel after the takeover by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. The company lost 750 employees. Bain Capital made $12 million.

Biddle, owner of Planning Works and Sweet Spots Ads, said Romney shows little interest in where his profits come from.

He put payments to his partners first before everything else, Biddle said.

Over 330 Stage Stores closed and 5,794 employees lost their jobs after Romney and his partners bought the company. Bain profits reached over $170 million.

Under a Romney administration, the country would be in "sad shape," Kriseman said.

"The Republicans are so focused on small government and tax cuts," he said.

Baker said the simplest solution to keep local small businesses alive is to keep Romney out of the office. Even at her hair salon, she said, she and her employees help people register to vote and determine their voting location.

"We're in this to win this."

click to enlarge In St. Pete, local Democrats warn against Romney Economics - Rick Kriseman
Rick Kriseman
In St. Pete, local Democrats warn against Romney Economics

One former GST Steel employee called Mitt Romney a vampire.

Another called him a job destroyer.

But in St. Petersburg, small business owners are just worried that a four-year Republican presidency could bring them to bankruptcy.

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