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Another Anti-Obama Sign Goes Up in Milford

"It's less political, more philosophical," says Spectrum President Richard Meisenheimer of the banner.


The banner outside Spectrum Associates' New Haven Avenue location reads: "Mr. President Dan Meisenheimer built this business WITHOUT GOVERNMENT HELP."

Speaking with Milford Patch, Richard Meisenheimer confirmed that the sign, which went up last week, is a response to Barack Obama's comment on July 13th: "Somebody invested in roads and bridges--if you've got a business, that-you didn't build that." See attached video for full clip of Obama's statement.

Defenders of Obama's comment, such as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, believe that the statement was taken out of context. Mr. Meisenheimer disagrees with this assessment, saying that Obama's message was "very clear."

Richard Meisenheimer's father, Dan Meisenheimer, established Spectrum Associates in 1957. The Milford company, which has locations at 183 Plains Road and 440 New Haven Avenue, manufactures parts for the aerospace industry. 

"I know what my Dad went through (to build up his business)", Richard Meisenheimer said. "I've lived it."

A few week ago, friction was created in Milford by a billboard reading 'Obama = the Entry Drug to Socialism.'  

As of the August 14th Primary, there are 8,841 Democrats and 6,889 Republicans registered in Milford.

Concerned Parent September 29, 2012 at 02:49 PM
So you are NOT out of work?...Is that what you are saying?...And despite this entire economic downturn which has made people lose their homes and business layoff workers, your situation has improved?..Is that what your saying?
Greg Smith September 29, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I wouldn't have been married for 30 years without government because my wife lived on a road that allowed me to visit her and fall in love. I hope someone offers a toast to the government at our anniversary party. I see it clearly now, the credit for our happiness is really theirs.
LAM September 29, 2012 at 04:21 PM
@Ed P. Please note I did say Obama was condescending to business owners when he made his statement. I understand all about the risks involved in starting a business, I know people who own businesses. But I also know that there is a mutual need for Government and business to create a positive symmetry that allows those businesses to grow and provide more jobs. That is why I agree that Government at this stage is hindering job development, especially in this state. Hyper partisanship all to often blinds people to what is really going on. For example curious orange seems to think that things are going great, yet fails to mention CT has a 9% unemployment rate (not including those who have given up). He also mentioned the roughly 4 million jobs created since the end of 2009, but fails to include the fact that when Bush inherited the Clinton recession in 2001, roughly 4 million jobs were created from the official end of that recession to a similar point in his first term.
LAM September 29, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I totally agree with your comments.
MCF September 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM
@ LAM I made the comment about the 4 million jobs and you are not correct in stating Clinton left Bush with the economy in a recession. The following clip is from Bruce Bartlett who held senior policy roles with Reagan and GWH Bush: Putting all the numbers in the C.B.O. report together, we see that continuation of tax and budget policies and economic conditions in place at the end of the Clinton administration would have led to a cumulative budget surplus of $5.6 trillion through 2011 – enough to pay off the $5.6 trillion national debt at the end of 2000. Tax cuts and slower-than-expected growth reduced revenues by $6.1 trillion and spending was $5.6 trillion higher, a turnaround of $11.7 trillion. Of this total, the C.B.O. attributes 72 percent to legislated tax cuts and spending increases, 27 percent to economic and technical factors. Of the latter, 56 percent occurred from 2009 to 2011. So for the rest of the truth on GWB read this article http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/the-fiscal-legacy-of-george-w-bush/ Republicans would have us believe that somehow we could have avoided the recession and balanced the budget since 2009 if only they had been in charge. This would be a neat trick considering that the recession began in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
CuriousOrange September 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM
@Ed, et al. I don't have any problem with anyone's wealth -- as long as they don't use it to game the economy. When rich people and corporations promote special legal carve-out regulations and tax breaks, or when they see an inch and take a mile, or when they 'prove deficits don't matter' and then bewail the 'DEBT CEILING,' I am forced -- FORCED -- to call them out as greedy hypocrites. And yes, the economy is doing much better here, going by all the investment at the Westfield Connecticut Post Mall. Retailers are building and opening new stores instead of closing them, as they did four years ago. The food court is near capacity. Borders, which went out of business after Bush, has been replaced. Some days I can hardly find a place to park.
MCF September 29, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Pride not vanity. Not jealousy but greed. Ed, I don't understand where you're coming from. You don't have a job and at some point collected or are collecting unemployment, correct? What precisely do you think Obama has done to prevent you from getting a job?
LAM September 29, 2012 at 04:52 PM
To me both of the controversial signs could be more effective if rather than slogans they put facts about the economy on them. One that would really open eyes would be that job creation has cratered since March of 2012. In the last 6 months job creation has been abysmal at best ,which should make people realize that the Obama employment policies are failing at a most critical time. Because all to many people get their news from sound bites or headlines, seeing the FACTS about recent poor job creation numbers, could force them to open their eyes to the truth. In this case the truth being that this late into Obama's term, more people are giving up looking for work than the number of jobs being created. Putting THAT on a billboard would make a deeper point than calling Obama a socialist.
LAM September 29, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Manny: I would hope that you don't think that a recession beginning a month after a new President takes office could in any way be caused by his policies. It takes months after new policy is enacted for it's effects good or bad to be felt. If you would go back to March of 2000 when the dot com bubble burst causing the NASDAQ to plummet you would understand how factors created by policy take time to affect the economies health. Experts were warning that the Clinton economy was at risk because of the dot com bubble, in fact beginning in 1999 the Federal Reserve raised interest rates 6 times trying to slow the economy down knowing the bubble was about to burst. When it burst it led to an economic downturn that in March of 2001 officially became a recession. Nothing Bush had done had anything to do with it. My original point though remains, from the time that recession officially ended to a similar point in Obama's term job creation was roughly about 4 million or so for each President. I fail to see why Democrats at the time criticized Bush's job recovery numbers but now brag about the 4 million number created by Obama.
LAM September 29, 2012 at 06:08 PM
@curiousorange, Seems I remember that when Bush was creating jobs they were being derided as "mcjobs" because they were in retail, and not high paying skilled jobs. Am I now to believe that "Mcjobs" are acceptable because those are the jobs being created under Obama? When Bush's "Mcjobs" were being created retail was also booming, yet Americans were being scolded for excessive consumption buying too many "toys" and wasting money on things they really didn't need. Yet now I guess these critics will be silent because Obama's "Mcjob" recovery is acceptable though Bush's was not. Ahhh....... hypocrisy in it's most ugly state.
MCF September 29, 2012 at 06:48 PM
LAM, I was trying to point out that the policies were in place and if GW B didn't change a thing we would have had a surplus (of course two wars didn't help but it wasn't just the wars that dominated the loss of money). Please read the article then get back to me. More information can be found here: check Wikipedia, for this simple chart if you're not up for reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_created_during_U.S._presidential_terms. But in case you don't check, GWB had a net job growth in two terms of -.33% and Obama since he took office +.84% (GWB 3m jobs, BHO 4m) I keep getting drawn into this argument (my fault) and I'm only looking for answers not rhetoric and nonesense and absurd statements of misinformation made by people that want to instill fear and hate. My final statement on this matter is, in my opinion, the signs popping up do nothing to solve problems and serve only to inflame as is evident here. Debate and discuss the facts; work together to forge solutions to the very complex problems of maintaining a society without name calling, belittlement and dismission of whole groups of people. Be relentless in getting the truth and don't settle for what someone tells you using fear statements and outrageous accusations.
jungis4545 September 29, 2012 at 08:48 PM
All I can hope for in this election is that no single party holds the presidency, Senate, and House. Let there be checks and balances.
Michael Brown September 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Mr. Meisenheimer's sign is referring to the "maker v. taker" argument. He is insinuating that he is a maker, not a taker. This is a common affliction nowadays. Everyone is proud of their making, while being blind to their taking. Roads, schools, libraries, defense, are just a few of the benefits of government. But there are many institutional benefits to living in this country. I own a home, or should I say I live in a home with a mortgage. The government allows me to deduct the mortgage interest from my income before they tax me. Does this mean I live in 'government subsidized housing?' Or does it mean the government is providing me a benefit because of my investment in that house. Either way, I seem to be benefiting from government largess. So is Mr. Meisenheimer.
RONALD M GOLDWYN September 30, 2012 at 05:30 AM
These men had a common name in our history Ed P, they were known as the "Robber Barons"
CuriousOrange September 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Speaking of "REAL Men," I never wonder about President Obama when he walks across the stage. He is truly masculine, and I know he can put the ball in the basket with ease. I do wonder about the other guy, who walks like he is wearing heels, like he was taught posture by carrying a book on his head, and I wonder if there's a 'posture photo' somewhere in his past.
RONALD M GOLDWYN September 30, 2012 at 01:24 PM
The Robber Barons take a major role in the history of our country. The list in Wikipedia includes the following, List of businessmen who were called robber barons John Jacob Astor (real estate, fur) – New York Andrew Carnegie (steel) – Pittsburgh and New York Jay Cooke (finance) – Philadelphia Charles Crocker (railroads) – California Daniel Drew (finance) – New York James Buchanan Duke (tobacco) – Durham, North Carolina James Fisk (finance) – New York Henry Morrison Flagler (railroads, oil) – New York and Florida Henry Clay Frick (steel) – Pittsburgh and New York John Warne Gates (barbed wire, oil) – Texas Jay Gould (railroads) – New York Edward Henry Harriman (railroads) – New York James J. Hill (railroads) – Minnesota Charles T. Hinde (railroads, water transport, shipping, hotels) - Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, California Mark Hopkins (railroads) – California Andrew W. Mellon (finance, oil) – Pittsburgh J. P. Morgan (finance, industrial consolidation) – New York John Cleveland Osgood (coal mining, iron) - Colorado Henry B. Plant (railroads) – Florida John D. Rockefeller (oil) – Cleveland, New York Charles M. Schwab (steel) – Pittsburgh and New York Joseph Seligman (banking) – New York John D. Spreckels (sugar) – California Leland Stanford (railroads) - California Cornelius Vanderbilt (water transport, railroads) – New York Charles Tyson Yerkes (street railroads) – Chicago None are my hero's.
RONALD M GOLDWYN September 30, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Almost all of the above were from pre-income tax days and prior to anti-monopoly laws. My early hero was William Zeckendorf - builder, but even he had a fall from power only to be replaced by Trump who I feel is a disgusting person as was his father. I also admired Sam Lefrak and Al Levitt also big builders who I personally knew.
CuriousOrange September 30, 2012 at 03:19 PM
It wasn't so much rules and regulations that stalled the new WTC. It was insurance liabilities and the politics of 9/11 that made planning more difficult than the actual construction.
LAM September 30, 2012 at 03:32 PM
@Manny: My initial and follow up posts had nothing to do with both Bush's terms, I was pointing out the simiilarities of economic recovery in both Presidents initial terms. I was highlighting how partisanship causes amnesia. On matters pertaining to the economy both sides are guilty. I should have made my point clearer, Republicans and Democrats are defending and attacking the handling of the economy, claiming credit when things are good and passing the buck when things are bad. A perfect example is playing out now, the House passes budget bills that have zero chance of being enacted, the Senate won't pass a budget proposal and the President does nothing but talk. Mutual inaction, mutual blame yet each side blames the other.
RONALD M GOLDWYN September 30, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Ed P, I prefer being called Ron if you can do so. As for the ESB, it was Al Smith who built the building in such a short time, and as I recall that during WWII an air-force bomber crashed into the building due to fog. The ESB building survived, but not the WTC. Both were steel frame buildings.
Concerned Parent October 01, 2012 at 12:58 PM
People should take a good long and honest look at these types of expressions of frustration exhibited by some businesses and the responses from normal people, like those on this board, to gain some real insight on our politic attitudes re: DEM vs REP. B based on the percentage of people in support of these billboards and those against it will provide a true sense of the public opinion of our President.
CB October 01, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Let them put up a banner. If you don't like it, that's your opinion and your right, and that's OK, and if you do like it, the same goes. Get over it, it's just a banner.
Concerned Parent October 01, 2012 at 07:33 PM
@Ron...You forgot Joseph Kennedy.
Michael Brown October 02, 2012 at 10:23 AM
What more can be said when it's Ed versus Ed?
Michael Brown October 02, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Sure. I agree. It's just a son who is wants to show how proud he is of his father. And oh yea. He's sticking-it to the President of United States - the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces that gives him most of his business. Touching.
Concerned Parent October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM
@Ed P. I'll simply agree to disagree with you and leave it at that...
Michael Brown October 02, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Never liked Phil Donahue. I'm surprised that you do. As for Milton Friedman - he was an economist - you know, like Karl Marx. Both were misrepresented by politicians and despots.
MCF October 03, 2012 at 02:36 AM
@LAM, I agree, the back and forth blame game is a problem. Our current political climate is very harsh. Not too much will get done without both sides working together. Regarless of who wins, without a middle ground there will only be battle grounds.
MCF October 03, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Ed P, I've been fairly politically aware for nearly 20 years now and I don't remember a more contentious time as the last 4 elections. So with that memory I'll stay with coming together is better, idealistic as that may be the fact is cooperation makes things happen. The cylinders in a combustion engine if fighting each other would cause the engine to seize or fail in a significant way. Rowing a canoe cannot be done with one side winning, you only go in a circle, one wing on a plane makes it crash in a fantastic spiral... so I think it's a fact that iit is more productive and inline with how life works to cooperate in situation of diversity. Just because the political machine operates as it does, I would say judging by the condition of our country, that "decimating" the other side hasn't been working. So it may be a fact in practice but it is not a fact of logical progression. So until we stop being neanderthals and act more in line with common sense and practical wisdom we will continue to fight, spit and sputter all the way to failure. That's not a story, or an opinion, it's simply the way successful things work..
MCF October 06, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Ed P it was a pleasure chatting with you, we don't see eye to eye so we can just agree to disagree. Hope all works out well for you and you find employement soon.


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