Voter Guide: Mike Riley Profile (2nd Congressional District)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Candidate Profile: Mike Riley (Republican)
Birth date: April 11, 1956
Education: University of Connecticut BS Finance
Boston University Financial Planning Certificate
Candidate Level 2 CFA
Bio: I am a Former Vice President Paine Webber 1980, member of the American Stock Exchange 1978 to 2002, Member New York Stock Exchange 1983-4, Member Philadelphia Stock Exchange 1999-2002.President of Letco Specialists LP 1995 to2002.I was Managing Director TD Securities a division of Toronto Dominion Bank 2002 in charge of United States East Coast listed derivatives trading, specialists and arbitrage. I am a Registered Investment Adviser Series 65 passed in Rhode Island in 2005.I formed Coastal Management Group LLC with two other partners in 2005 and we manage a multi – strategy hedge fund and private equity investments.
I was born the son of a Navy pilot in Pensacola Florida and I have lived in eleven states. I arrived in Rhode Island in 2003 after 25 successful years on Wall Street. I left Wall Street and my home in New Jersey as a result of my experience in the WTC attacks of September 11, 2001.
Since moving to Narragansett I have served on the town pension board and served as Chairman of the Charter Review Commission. I have coached fall ball baseball and little league. I play in a pitch card league. I am a member of the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club. I am a member of the Providence Society of Financial Analysts and RISC. I am also a member of the Friendly Sons of Ireland South County and of the Sons of Irish Kings.
On the Issues
How can you create jobs in Rhode Island?
A new job is created when capital meets with an idea. Profits are a proven incentive for job creators to hire workers. Rhode Island must treat capital and job creators with respect. This is true regardless of whether we are talking about jobs in RI or America. RI will grow along with the United States but only if our country enacts pro-growth measures of tax simplification, a stable dollar policy and a reduction in the size and scope of government relative to the private sector.
As your new congressman my policies will be focused on job creators around the country and in Rhode Island who want reduced uncertainty regarding future tax rates and regulation. I want them to focus on innovation rather than compliance. We live in a global economy and the United States needs to be competitive especially in the areas of taxation and energy costs. A government that is unfocused or one that is more focused on growing its own power and influence is counter-productive. That is the government we have now and is the one I seek to change.
Social Security and Medicare are severely underfunded and my Riley Plan addresses these issues. The fact is “Medicare as we know it” ended when 2009 and 2010 was spent developing a 2000+ page law known as the” Affordable Care Act”. This maze of new entities and agencies is being paid for by money that would have gone to Medicare. The hope was that this act would insure all and reduce costs. This isn’t going to happen. Worse it appears this could be very costly. Instead I endorse premium support plans that will not touch anyone currently above 55 years of age that also promise Medicare to those who wish to keep it and will then realistically deal with the disastrous underfunding as described by trustees like Tim Geithner and Hilda Solis.
I want both Social Security and Medicare to survive but it can’t be done without fixes (see Geithner). We need to recognize that people are living longer and that less people are paying into the system to support aging baby boomers. Ultimately the best fix for both programs is growing the economy. I have economist friends who have run spread sheets showing that just by returning our economy to above 3.5% real GDP growth will wipe out funding deficits within a few years. But real growth won’t occur without a stable dollar and lower corporate tax rates. These actions combined with restrained government spending and a simplified tax code can produce miracles.
Affordable Care Act:
This act is an example of government overreach and it is ripe for repeal. Many good things came out of this attempt and should be kept such as preexisting condition coverage and coverage of college age children. Some things weren’t included like tort reform and selling insurance across state lines. I agree with Warren Buffet when he said in 2010 and then again recently that the goal of health care reform should have been to reduce costs. Here’s what Buffet suggested President Obama should say while scrapping his reform proposals and starting over “We're just going to focus on costs and we're not going to dream up 2,000 pages of other things.”
Additionally I don’t think the affordable care act should fund abortions in any way or force coverage of objectionable procedures upon religiously affiliated organizations.
I am pro-life with the exceptions of rape, incest and life of the mother. The government should never be involved in funding abortions.
Our education system needs massive restructuring that I believe is already naturally underway. It is the result of the inevitable collision of new technology meeting a massively bloated and inefficient legacy system of bureaucracy and disappointing outcomes. High school graduates need to be more prepared through higher standards. At the same time most colleges offer little or no value relative to costs and they will be forced to innovate to survive. As a result of this transformation, it is likely good or excellent teachers may become the new rock stars and achieve great wealth.
Same Sex Marriage:
I am for traditional marriage; however I believe this is a states’ rights issue and as such should be up the people of Rhode Island.
I want out of Afghanistan as soon possible. I would need to rely on the military leaders and opinions on the ground for when the most optimal time would be, but I want it soon, very soon.
Energy & the Environment:
We need to enable and encourage all sources of energy development without subsidies. Not only would this put market forces back in charge of allocation, it would increase the use our natural resources and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy. I have great confidence that technology and innovation will help us produce clean and abundant energy for centuries to come. We have voluminous assets here in the United States. Brilliant Americans will develop clean alternatives such as helium cooled Nuclear Reactors in the very new future.
Simply stated, we have a problem, Step one should be to close the borders using federal resources and a realistic effort on behalf of the federal government supporting our border states. I am in favor of laws like e-verify that require companies to check the citizenship status of their workers. I am also sympathetic to the plight of those illegal immigrants cited by the President in his executive order however his order was inappropriate and as congressman I would be very concerned by his use of executive order to bypass existing laws.
I am not in favor of the Dream act as proposed.
Do you support right-to-work?
This is a funny question that isn’t really funny. I struggle with the notion that Americans are forced to join a union in order to work. Doesn’t that feel wrong? Doesn’t that seem unconstitutional? Somehow we need to balance the right to collective bargaining with an individual’s right to work without
having to join a union and pay dues and endorse people or causes they don’t personally believe in.
How can you defeat Jim Langevin in the general election?
First I must make a case that I am a viable candidate. I must exhibit through my record and my communication to the public that I am capable of leading and understanding the very fragile nature of our economic circumstance.
Second I need to make clear that I am just there to fix something and go back to my job in the private sector. Jim has had 12 years. I have signed a term limit pledge for 6 years.
Who is your favorite member of the opposite party?
Jason Altmire of Washington
In one paragraph, why should voters support Mike Riley?
Voters should support that candidate most capable of dealing with the problems of Rhode Islanders today; those problems are all related to the economy. I have been a problem solver all my life. I have 35 years of private sector experience and I have been involved in high finance. I am a self starter and have built and lead companies large and small. I have been selected by my peers to positions of leadership in my profession. I have served as disciplinary officer and exchange official in my career at the American Stock Exchange.
With regard to the incumbent ,I am older and wiser and upon my election I will likely be a freshman in the Republican majority of the House and if elected he would be a 13th year member of the minority once again.
I am humble enough to understand that it will be hard for one person, a freshman member, to change things immediately in Washington. That will not stop me from making my best effort to represent the people of Rhode Island with strength of purpose, intelligent discourse and a respectful manner. I humbly ask for your vote in November.
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