Attorney General and Republican nominee for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, toured Precision Steel in Roanoke this week to get feedback on their operations and ascertain their business needs for the future.
Precision Steel was founded more than 30 years ago by three brothers: Mike, David and Jeff Amos. Mike Amos is the company president and gave Cuccinelli the plant tour and introduced him to some of his 63 employees. The plant fabricates machine parts for original equipment manufacturers throughout the United States. The company mainly deals with the construction, mining and railroad industries.
Cuccinelli praised the company for its participation in the Workforce Development Program, which trains high school and community college students with skills that have technical applications so they are “job ready” when they graduate. The attorney general said that one agenda he will tackle if elected governor would be to immunize companies against liability so they can bring in more students to learn on the job.
Amos said that he does not know yet how Obamacare, the healthcare law, will affect his business so he has not had any new hires recently. He also questioned whether he would have to lower some employee hours below the 30 hour threshold to meet some of the new requirements. Cuccinelli replied that, “A new Gallup poll showed that 40% of small businesses are not expanding due to the healthcare law uncertainty,” and that is why he plans to “push back when regulations from D.C. go too far . . . I will put in place policies to reinvest in small business and to bring more advanced manufacturing to Virginia.”
Cuccinelli asked about electric consumption by Precision Steel and if the company was concerned about a Presidential staff member admitting today that there was a “war on coal,” which would bring rising prices for electric. When Amos replied that he was indeed concerned, Cuccinelli stated that once he was elected, he was going to create an “Office of Small Business” to help address such issues. He wants businesses to tell him of their concerns instead of government telling business what to do.
When asked about the Supreme Court’s decision on voting rights, Cuccinelli was careful to say that, “The law is not clear, we do not have to get permission from the federal government, but we still have to comply,” meaning the state has to be careful to not discriminate when making jurisdictional changes. “I don’t think Virginia has institutional bigotry like we did 50 years ago, but we always need to be on guard for it,” said Cuccinelli.
When asked about the recently passed Transportation Bill, he said, “I will not revisit it, but I have my own plans.”
A Rasmussen poll earlier this week showed Cuccinelli in a statistical tie with Democratic nominee, Terry McAuliffe. A month ago Cuccinelli held a five point lead, so McAuliffe is closing the gap.
After Cuccinelli walked out of Precision Steel, Mike Amos smiled and said, “Ken is the man for the job to keep Virginia open for business.”
– Carla M. Bream