Krikorian Talks Farming

KRIKORIAN TALKS FARMING
By Brett Roller

Georgetown News Democrat
October 24, 2008
OH

Rural Life Conference meets with Congressional candidate

ARNHEIM – Independent Candidate for Congress David Krikorian met
with members of the Rural Life Conference of the St. Martin Deanery
at St. Mary’s Church in Arnheim Monday, Oct. 16 to discuss issues
facing the farmers of Brown County and what Krikorian could do to
help those farmers if elected.

Krikorian is the owner of Parody Productions, in Columbia Township
(Cincinnati), which makes cards and puzzles and other novelty items. He
has great interest in the economy with a bachelor’s degree in economics
and finance and a master’s in business administration. He said he
has chosen to run for Congress because of his fears about the current
economic situation and his frustration with partisan politics.

"I want to see solutions for some of the problems we’re seeing,"
Krikorian said. "Our country should be led by people instead of
political parties. If I am elected it would send a loud and clear
signal to both sides of the aisle that America has had enough."

Pat Hornschemeier, conference chair, asked Krikorian what his stance
on farm bill commodity payments were.

Krikorian said he was not an expert on farming issues and would not
try to make up answers, but he would try to use his experience as
a small business owner to relate to the farmers gathered. He said
the current commodity system was an example of corporate fascism
because it is run in such a way that it only benefits a few people,
specifically larger and corporate farms.

"I’m not suggesting that corporations are evil," Krikorian said. "I
think we should tilt the playing field back towards small and medium
sized farms. I would like to see us return to a balance."

Krikorian said the biggest issue facing small farms is the value
of the dollar. He said that because commodities are priced in
U.S. dollars a decline in the value of the dollar will drive up the
price of commodities. Krikorian pointed to the "trillions of dollars"
of debt the government is incurring as a major cause of inflation.

"That is the single biggest reason oil prices are going up," Krikorian
said. "We can drill all we want and it is not going to effect the
price of oil or gas."

Krikorian said the rise in oil prices was having a huge impact on
farmers who are seeing their fuel, fertilizer, and other petroleum
input costs out-pacing their earnings from crops. He also spoke out
against ethanol subsidies by saying they create an unfair market that
artificially inflates the price of corn and deprives people of food.

"There’s got to be something that’s better (for ethanol production)
than corn and can be grown in the second district," Krikorian said.

Krikorian also addressed the issue of the lack of jobs in the area
and criticized what Congress is now calling the Rescue Package.

"The bailout bill won’t stop the slide in home prices," Krikorian
said. "The number one issue is jobs. How does the bailout bill
create jobs?"

Krikorian proposed that a way to prevent foreclosures and the
subsequent devaluation of homes is to create jobs so that Americans
have the money to pay their mortgage. Krikorian said an investment in
local transportation and energy infrastructure will create those jobs.

"What Congress is not telling you is that this bailout bill is
not just helping American banks," Krikorian said. "We’re taking on
all this debt to bailout overseas banks yet we can’t find money for
infrastructure. If we focus on energy infrastructure we do some very
powerful things. We create jobs, we reduce the need to import energy
from overseas."

One local resident said his son wants to start his own family farm but
cannot get a large enough loan to start the operation. The man said his
son could only get a loan to cover the purchase of a 98 acre farm. He
could not get money to then purchase the cows and feed for the farm.

"Price ceilings and price floors don’t make sense in an open market,"
Krikorian said. "What you’re telling me is you just want a level
playing field. I would like to see more free market with less
government intervention."

Krikorian said in his opening address that he believes the economy
is going to get worse before it gets better.

"We are seeing the start of a lower standard of living," Krikorian
said.

Krikorian said that he could see urban areas struggling with an
economic decline more than farmers because they have the land to put
out large gardens to provide food for their families.

"I see a very real possibility of a disruption of the food supply,"
Krikorian said. "(Local food markets) are absolutely near and dear
to my heart. We have to do things to support their growth."

Krikorian said Congress needs to make it easier for farmers to achieve
organic certification and to sell non-pasteurized milk. He said he
has talked to several people who complained that they practically
have to buy a share of the cow in order to get non-pasteurized milk.

"The government is really over-regulating that industry right now,"
Krikorian said.

Krikorian also addressed several social issues presented by Tony
Stieritz, of the Archdiocese Catholic Social Action Office. Stieritz,
who first met Krikorian while serving the Greater Cincinnati Advocates
for Darfur coalition with him, explained that as Catholics the Rural
Life Conference was very concerned about Krikorian’s views on issues
such as abortion and same sex marriage. Krikorian also explained some
of his personal religious background to the audience.

Krikorian said his wife is an Irish Catholic and all of his children
have been baptized Catholic and are currently enrolled in private
school. He explained that he is of Armenian descent and that Armenia
was the first nation in the world to name Christianity as their
national religion in A.D. 301. He said because of Armenia’s proximity
to several Muslim nations it has been under intense attack over the
years, most recently in the genocide brought on by the Ottoman Empire
during and immediately following World War I.

"I am the grandson of genocide survivors," Krikorian said. "My
grandparents were just the latest victims in many persecutions."

"I am against the practice of abortion," Krikorian said in answer
to Stieritz. "I think it’s the mark of a society that’s in decay. I
am against embryonic stem cell research. I do think there are things
that can be learned from it."

"I believe marriage is a sacrament, a covenant," Krikorian said. "I
don’t see how two homosexuals or lesbians can get married. Marriage
is about children. However, I am not against equal rights. I am glad
I wasn’t born that way."

Krikorian said he was a strict constitutionalist and that he felt Roe
v. Wade was unconstitutional. He said he is in favor of individual
states making their own decisions on these issues.

If elected Krikorian would be the only Independent in the House of
Representatives and several local residents were concerned that he
could have trouble making a difference as just one man.

"I can’t change our country as one person," Krikorian said, "but I
submit to you that we have to start somewhere."

Krikorian said that if he is elected it would send a message across the
country that Americans are disenfranchised with the current government
and he predicted a significant increase in the number of Independents
running in 2010 if that message gets across.

"I do believe both parties will come to me and say ‘caucus with us.’ I
will get competing offers," Krikorian said.

Krikorian said the offers would include committee assignments that he
could use to the advantage of the second district. He said that while
he is currently focused on getting elected and cannot worry about
what he will do once he gets into office, he is in support of several
bills. Two bills in particular would force members of Congress to
write the bills they introduce instead of allowing special interest
groups and others to write them and force them to read every bill
before voting on it.

Krikorian said that the worsening economic situation will bring about
change in Washington.

"I’ll quote Ronald Regan by saying the seven or eight worst words
you can hear are I’m with the government and I’m here to help,"
Krikorian said.

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