Skip to comments.Liberal Ex-Congressman Opens Restaurant, Realizes Government Regulations Suck
Posted on 04/29/2014 8:49:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
It’s different when you’re on the receiving end.
The former Michigan Democratic congressman, liberal pit bull, academic, antiwar firebrand and labor-union BFF has undergone an epiphany, making him simpatico with businesses and the profit motive.
When his family approached him more than four years ago about starting Zest, Bonior became a scrappy entrepreneur. He used his congressional access to knock on every one of 435 congressional offices, dropping off a flier for Zest. He worked the Metro stations, handing out coupons. He went door-to-door, as if he were campaigning.
We kept thinking of ways to reach out.
He knew it was risky. Most restaurants fail within two years. But his stepson and daughter-in-law were experienced in restaurant management. In the process, he gained an appreciation for the profit motive.
The biggest surprise is how you have to hustle, he said. It was an eye-opener. I always heard this when I was in Congress. You should try and own a business someday, Bonior. So I own two small businesses with my stepson and daughter-in-law. Its tough to make it, in terms of profit margins. But somehow you get by and you figure it out.
Bonior said if he had the power, he would lighten up on pesky regulations.
It took us a ridiculous amount of time to get our permits. I understand regulations and . . . the necessity for it. But we lost six months of business because of that. Its very frustrating.
Maybe everyone in Congress should be obligated to manage a business on the side. It might introduce a note of reality into their legislating.
It also happened to George McGovern.
“In 1988, I invested most of the earnings from this lecture circuit acquiring the leasehold on Connecticut’s Stratford Inn. Hotels, inns and restaurants have always held a special fascination for me. The Stratford Inn promised the realization of a longtime dream to own a combination hotel, restaurant and public conference facility complete with an experienced manager and staff…
I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender .
To create job opportunities we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities.
It was the choking of local, state and federal rules, regulations and mandates that forced his venture into bankruptcy. He explained:
“My business associates and I lived with federal, state and local rules that were all passed with the objective of helping employees, protecting the environment, raising tax dollars for schools, protecting our customers from fire hazards, etc. While I never doubted the worthiness of any of these goals, the concept that most often eludes legislators is: Can we make consumers pay the higher prices for the increased operating costs that accompany public regulation and government reporting requirements with reams of red tape? It is a simple concern that is nonetheless often ignored by legislators.
For example, the papers today are filled with stories about businesses dropping health coverage for employees. We provided a substantial package for our staff at the Stratford Inn. However, were we operating today, those costs would exceed $150,000 a year for health care on top of salaries and other benefits. There would have been no reasonable way for us to absorb or pass on these costs.”
Some conservatives are liberals who have just been mugged. You don’t often hear this from the muggers, though.
The same famously happened to George McGovern. It didn’t do any good when he bitched about it.
Sounds like he has not quite seen the light yet.
Trouble is, for every liberal that has just been mugged by reality and seen the light, there are several million who have government jobs and never have to face real life. Not to mention the million or so socialist zombies churned out by the pubic school system every year.
You had to bring up Bonior didn’t you? I’ve spent years trying to forget his name. I used to be “represented” by him. In the description the author neglected to use Communist Sympathizer and Traitor when describing him. I hope his restaurant fails.
My mom used to be a liberal until she started 3 businesses after retiring and moving to Arizona from Minnesota.
She became a conservative during the process. I was always amused by her complaining about the state (Arizona) as before she was always wanting more gov’t.
So glad we have many in government today with business experience. Sarc
Bonior was one of the worst when it came to pushing a liberal, regulatory state agenda in Congress. Now he writes this BS article to try to rationalize his business and Congressional experience. He doesn’t want to face the damage he did pushing an extreme regulatory state.
Embrace the suck, Bonior.
They just went out and extorted someone for themselves and their families and friends alone.
OMG, I have too.........
As a side note, I also posted the following to the posted site......
Bonior is a piece of crap, communist crook who would likely still be my congressman had it not been for the redistricting that included a highly Republican area and subsequently led to Congresswoman Candice Miller defeating him in 2002.
Bonior has NEVER held a job in the private sector, first becomming a state rep in 1973 then elected to the U.S. House in 1976 and prospered tremendously until his ousting in 2002.
He was also a supporter of the Nicaraguan communist/marxist Sandinistas who were being challenged by the freedom loving Contras......
In 2002 the commie took an unauthorized trip to Iraq, paid for by Iraqi intelligence via a Michigan based Muslim group, headed by Muthanna Al-Hanooti, with fellow commie and Muslim sympathizers Jim McDermott and Mike Thompson and took selfies with Saddam Hussein.
Lets see now, on his meager congressional salary/pension, he bought a place near Capitol Hill because he wanted to be near a growing, urban neighborhood and he also owns a second home near the Chesapeake Bay. Now he's using his political influence (and monies) to create a restaurant in DC for his spawn.........
David Bonior is like herpes, you can never get rid of it........
Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Bonior didn’t run again in 2002. He ran for Governor instead and placed 2nd in the primary behind Jenny Grandstand.