2012 Congressional Election Results
Status Quo for Our Industry
On a macro level, the 2012 elections changed very few of the political dynamics on Capitol Hill affecting our industry. While many in the industry had hoped for a Republican sweep setting the stage for a repeal of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and the Tan Tax, that clearly did not happen. The House of Representatives’ Speaker John Boehner and his Repub- lican Party still control the House at least for the next two years. ITA has made the most headway building a solid foundation of support with the House and will continue to reinforce this foundation.
Most of our loyal supporters such as Rep. Michael Grimm and Rep. Pat Tiberi (sponsors of the Tan Tax Repeal) and Rep. Jack Kingston, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee respon- sible for funding the FDA, will return in 2013. However, so do our most vocal critics such as Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
Regarding the fate of the 44 co- sponsors who signed on to support Rep. Michael Grimm’s bill to repeal the Tan Tax, most fared well in the election. Two of the co-sponsors were defeated (Rep. Frank C. Guinta (R-NH) and Rep. Allen West (R-FL); one was elected governor – Rep. Mike Pence (R- IN) – and one did not seek re-election: Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). This gives us a solid base of 40 supporters with which to jump-start our 2013 repeal efforts.
In the Senate, the Democrats gained two seats. While disappointing for those who sought major changes in the way Washington works, in practical terms, this is a small and insignificant adjust- ment.
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the sponsor of the Senate bill to repeal the Tan Tax did not seek re-election this year, so we must recruit a new Senate champion. The good news is that Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), a rising star among Senate Republicans, has already agreed to take on that role. And of the 11 current Senate co-sponsors of the Tan Tax Repeal, ten will return to the Senate next year. Again, this is another good foundation on which to build our coalition to rid the industry of this job- killing tax.
Continuing the trend of the past two elections, the ranks of centrist senators further thinned during the 2012 election cycle. Several moderate senators will not be returning next year, either by choice or by voter will, including Joe Lieber- man (I-CT), Jim Webb (D-VA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Scott Brown (R-MA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Only one new, reliable centrist will be added to the Senate ranks, Joe Don- nelly (D-IN). Many of those openings will be filled by legislators who are far more liberal, including Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Political Action Committee Report
The ITA-PAC experienced its busiest and most successful two-year cycle ever, raising and contributing record amounts to candidates and party committees nationwide. In 2011-2012, under the leadership of ITA PAC chairman Marty Gallagher (Suntan Supply), ITA members contributed close to $75,000 to the ITA-PAC, all of which was donated to pro-business, small government candidates from both political parties.
But, that is only part of the story. In- dustry leaders from across the country stepped up, organized and hosted fund- raisers to collect another $200,000. The primary recipients of these funds were two of our major supporters, Rep. Michael Grimm and Rep. Pat Tiberi. In addition, industry leaders worked closely with the National Republican Congressional Committee to elect pro- business candidates nationwide.
With the New Year, State Issues More to the Forefront
Even before the state legislatures begin organizing for the 2013 session, we’re still fighting holdover battles from the 2012 session. At press time in early December, Ohio has just scheduled another hearing on banning teens from indoor tanning. At this writing, we were well positioned to hold off action in the few short weeks remaining in the 2012 session; but, Ohio businesses should be preparing for the next round which starts with the New Year.
In New Jersey, the ghost of the “Tanning Mom” still haunts us, as our enemies attempt to force the New Jersey Legislature to follow New York and ban anyone under 17 from visiting salons in that state.
Unlike the United States Congress, state legislatures typically have short sessions convening in early January with most completing business by summer. For that reason, our state issues start fast and come in waves during the first two months of the year. Already in Connecticut, we know our adversaries are gearing up for a showdown. In addition, across New England and the mid-Atlantic, we’re already picking up signs of trouble.
ITA Welcomes Newest Board Member, Vince Lorraine
This month, we are highlighting our newest member of the ITA Board of Direc- tors, Vince Lorraine. Vince founded his Tropi Tan salon chain 33 years ago, and the venture has been the largest in Michigan with 17 locations and employ- ing an average of 100 people. Vince has also been a member of the ITA since its establishment. His success with salons led him to become the publisher of ist Magazine, the tanning industry’s No. 1 nationally circulated magazine. Vince is also a land developer and has franchised his salon concept throughout the state. His most recent endeavor was the creation of Sun Life® Training and Certification, an online salon operator education program that further dem- onstrates his dedication to the tanning industry.
Vince is not only a tanning industry leader, but also an active and respected member of his community. He has served as the secretary and member of the Finance Committee for the Flint Institute of Music’s Board of Trustees for over a decade. He is a Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce Board of Direc- tors member and was recently reelected to the Board of Trustees for Fenton Township, where he has resided for 25 years. Vince has also been involved with many local charities such as Whaley Children’s Center, Adopt-a-Pet, Genesee County Humane Society, the Genesee County Food Bank, and Project Graduation efforts throughout the Flint, MI area.
The ITA is proud to have Vince as a member of its Board and is most appreciative of the many contributions he is making within the industry, his community, and to this Association.
was the President of the Indoor Tanning Association.
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