Palombo: Washington, D.C., needs change

Published 8:00 pm Monday, March 19, 2012

Former New Bern Police Chief Frank Palombo believes its past time for a change in Washington, D.C.

From career politicians who have lost touch with their constituents to over-reaching by the federal government into areas that are beyond the authority it was given by the U.S. Constitution, Palombo sees changes that need to be made in the way the nation is governed.

Palombo, 64, said he is the candidate for North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives who can best bring about these changes.

“There is a need in Congress for people who have the leadership and the courage to see these changes made,” he said.

“With this election we have the opportunity to change things and make things happen like we haven’t had in a long time,” he said. “I have the leadership, experience and skills to make things happen — to change the way things are going.”

“The key to this primary elections is there’s a choice to be made and opportunities to be had,” he said. “Do you want the status quo — business as usual or do you want to move to a new path?”

Palombo, who faces incumbent U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones in the May 8 GOP primary, said he would work to rein in the federal government and reduce the nation’s debt and the deficit by not only cutting government spending, but by working to expand the economy and increase the nation’s revenues.

Palombo said he would increase revenues by working to bring manufacturing back to the United States.

“We need to look at what it is that causes manufacturing to be cheaper in other countries,” he said, “and labor costs are only a part of it.”

By eliminating some of the governmental regulations that stifle business and creating a tax structure that encourages entrepreneurship, the nation’s leaders can help the economy grow and increase nation’s gross domestic product, he said.

That growth would increase the federal government’s revenue without having to increase taxes, he said.

Palombo would strive to encourage efficiency in government and look for ways to cut wasteful spending.

He said his experience as police chief in New Bern during a time of tightening budgets would help him identify areas of wasteful spending.

“There are ways to cut things without impacting essential services,” he said. “You decide what’s essential or not essential to the mission. Currently, there’s room in the federal government for cuts.”

Palombo cited the U.S. Department of Education as one of the areas where the federal government has over-extended its reach, and, therefore, could be targeted for cuts.

“There’s no place in the U.S. Constitution for the federal government to be involved in education,” he said. “The states should be dealing with education, local government should be dealing with education, parents should be dealing with education.”

“The federal government is dictating things to the states that are in the purview of the states to decide,” he said.

If elected, Palombo said, he would work hard to stay in touch with his constituents by creating an advisory council comprised of area residents and community leaders to develop an agenda that he can take back to Washington.

An advocate of term limits, Palombo has promised to serve no more than three terms — or six years — if elected.

“I believe in our founding fathers’ vision of a citizen legislature,” he said. “They believed that you go to Washington, D.C., you serve your country and then you go home.”

“Today, we have people in Washington, D.C. who are career politicians,” he said. “Their emphasis is on staying in power, not doing the things that are required.”

He took issue with Jones, who, Palombo said, has broken his pledge to serve no more than 12 years when he signed the Contract with America signed by Republican congressional candidates in 1994.

A native of New York, Palombo, 64, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in public administration from Troy State University.

He served as an electronics technician and teacher of leadership skills in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, achieving the rank of staff sergeant.

Palombo retired last year following a 34-year career in law enforcement, most recently in New Bern. During his career, he was elected president of the N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and chosen to serve on two statewide commissions that address law-enforcement issues.

He and his wife, Janine, a homemaker, live in New Bern and have two sons and one grandson.