Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen said he received “a good response and a lot of encouragement” while marching in the George Washington Birthday Parade on Monday in Alexandria with his wife Susan.
The couple lives just south of the city near Mount Vernon. Allen says he keeps up on local issues while in the midst of a campaign that’s taking him to every corner of the state.
When asked about the city’s controversial waterfront plan, Allen said he has had conversations about it with Alexandria City Council members Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes. Fannon and Hughes were looking out for the best interests of taxpayers and property owners when they voted against the city’s plan last month, he said.
Fannon has said one of the reasons he voted against the plan was because it endorsed the seizure of private property through eminent domain.
In his one term as a U.S. senator, Allen cosponsored legislation that limited the government's power to wield eminent domain.
“I don’t think you ought to be taking people’s private property unless it is truly for a public purpose,” Allen told Patch on Monday. “You don’t take it to give it to some other entity. We own our property not as serfs and vassals for a government. So to the extent, some of this dispute is in that light.”
Monday’s parade marked the end of a busy 48-hour span for the candidate, who carried out a stretch of speaking engagements between Abingdon and Danville on Saturday before returning north.
In Northern Virginia, Allen said the issues that come up most often include high gas prices, a poor job market and problems with President Obama’s health care reforms.
High gas prices take a toll on people who work in Alexandria but live in the region’s outer suburbs, Allen said.
“I think we should be allowed to produce natural gas and oil off our coast of Virginia and I’m for the Keystone Pipeline,” the former governor said. “While I’d prefer American oil, I’d rather be getting it from Canada as opposed to Saudi Arabia or Venezuela. With that increase in supply, that would help out with the price of gasoline.”
Allen said releasing energy resources also would help small businesses that have to pay fuel surcharges for deliveries.
In terms of revitalizing the economy, Allen has made his “Blueprint for America’s Comeback” a focal point of his campaign. He believes small business growth is key to creating jobs but said “Obama care” is a real impediment.
“Small businesses are really worried about Obama care,” Allen said, referring to the president's health care proposal. “If they’re approaching 50 employees they don’t want to go over because of all these mandates and dictates and potential penalties apply. … What I’d love to be is the deciding vote to repeal Obama care, unlike my opponent [Tim Kaine] who says it is a great achievement."
Allen said he would like to establish Health Savings Accounts where individuals control their own insurance policies and can take them from job to job without being dependent on the government or employers.