Liberatore focusing on jobs in House of Delegates race
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 11:28

Uncle Eddie’s owner also backs term limits

by Ben Boehl

    Dan Liberatore has been the owner of Uncle Eddie’s restaurant in Essex since 2006, but his role in the local Republican Party has grown over the last two years.    
    Liberatore said he went from a restaurant owner who first allowed the East Baltimore County Republican Club to use his facilities to a guy who started sitting in on their meetings.   Then, Liberatore said, he was elected the new president of the club in January and is now running for the House of Delegates.
    “I just kinda eased my way in. I was glad to see more and more people that are thinking like me,” Liberatore explained.
    “[Fellow Republican House candidate] Ric Metzgar came up to me. He said ‘why don’t you run for the House of Delegates?’ He was the one that encouraged me.”
    Liberatore said he perceives an opportunity for his party in the wake of state  Sen. Norman Stone’s retirement announcement and Del. John Olszewski Jr.’s bid to succeed Stone, as well as rumors of another local legislator’s possible retirement.
   

The Essex resident is one of five Republicans in the 6th District to publicly declare for the 2014 House race. Metzgar, Bob Long, Robin Grammer and Mitchell Toland Jr. are the other four hopefuls who have declared their candidacies.
    Liberatore said he welcomes a contested Republican primary, as he feels it will help the Republicans to find the best candidates for the general election. He also stated that the Republicans have all gotten along.
    “[Republican candidates] running are showing a tremendous amount of respect towards each other. There is no tension. I saw a lot of team building,” he said.
    “If I don’t make it through the primary, I will support the guys that do.”
    Liberatore said he has seen first-hand how the 6th District, which covers Dundalk, Essex and Edgemere, has lost jobs.
    As a business owner, Liberatore said he gets a few inquires a day from people looking for employment and that the sad part is that most of those people are middle-aged males and not the typical young adults who are applying for work.
    He noted how many steelworkers were trained in their field for decades only to find their skills are now obsolete.
    “They have specialized jobs that can only be done at a steel mill. Now that the steel mill is closed, there is no where to go,” Liberatore noted.
    “It is not like a shoe salesman that can go to another shoe store if his place closes. There are no other steel mills around.”
    Since Liberatore’s restaurant is across from the Social Services building in Essex, he said he sees the long line of people seeking government assistance every day.
    He acknowledged the widespread image of those waiting in line are “lazy” and “don’’t want to work,” but said he disagrees.
    “I don’t believe those folks are lazy. Sure, there are some people that take advantage of the system, but many of them want a job,” Liberatore added.    
    “If they were lazy, they wouldn’t be lining up early in the morning.”
    Instead of watching, Liberatore wants to help and believes he will be able to do so if he is elected to the House of Delegates.
    Liberatore recalled that he wanted to go into the military as a young man, but never did so and said he regrets that decision. He said he does not want those same regrets when it comes to running for public office.
    “I feel like we are not doing as well as we should. That is why I decided to do this. That is why I’m running,” Liberatore said.          “I thought I would try. I didn’t want to regret not trying.”
    Liberatore added that he is for term limits for legislators and promised  to serve no more than two terms if he is elected.
    In Liberatore’s opinion, an elected official was meant to serve for a few years and then would go back home to become an average citizen. Liberatore said he is tired of “career politicians.”
    “There should be maximum term limits,” Liberatore explained. “That is where our problems come  from, because politicians are worried about re-election.”
    As a business owner, Liberatore said he has been “hammered” by taxes and said that the “rain tax” (the new stormwater management fee) is the latest of taxes that hurts small businesses.
    “I don’t think a lot of legislators understand the impact their legislation has on business.”