• Arizona business leader weighs in with his important insights on the State of the Union
    posted by Donna Gratehouse at 11 February, 5:46 PM  0 
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    Rick Murray is the CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association.

    When looking at Rick Murray’s background, one would ask if there is anything that he hasn’t done.

    After graduating from college, Rick went to work in broadcast news photography with the idea that someday he would own a television station. Soon Rick found himself in his first entrepreneurial role when he started a small advertising agency and production company. This grew into a sports production company where he obtained the rights to televise basketball games for New Mexico State University. Rick then thought he would try his hand again in broadcast news, but this time he ended up in front of the camera. As the business and education reporter, Rick developed a fast bond with the school superintendent who hired him to head up the community and government relations department for the 85,000 student Albuquerque Public Schools.

    This lobbying experience gained notice with the Governor’s office when he was asked to head up the struggling New Mexico State Fair. With nearly 400 employees and a $13 million budget, this was certainly going to be Rick’s biggest challenge. After successfully getting the State Fair back on solid financial ground, Rick went to work with the people he feared most….DENTISTS! As Executive Director of the New Mexico Dental Association and the state’s #1 dental-phobe, Rick dramatically increased revenue by developing relationships with business partners. This got the attention of the Arizona Dental Association who was looking for help in the same category. In just 6 short years under Rick’s leadership, the Arizona Dental Association grew by nearly $2 million using the same formula he had always used: developing relationships with businesses for mutual success and surrounding himself with a team of people believing in a common goal. Rick is also well-versed in HIPAA compliance issues and healthcare related businesses.

    As you can see, Rick not only answers the door when opportunity knocks, he runs to welcome it with open arms. While nothing brings Rick more joy than spending time with his children and 3 dogs, and coaching soccer and baseball, Rick is occasionally known to hit the links and support the local golf course community.

    Rick has an op-ed in the Arizona Capitol Times today, which is behind a paywall (sorry!) but trust me (if you don’t want to pay) when I say that it is mostly standard-issue deficit scolding twaddle in anticipation of tomorrow evening’s State of the Union address.

    …When I was voted CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA), I made it a priority to engage our more than 11,000 member-companies to lead and educate them on a number of factors that are vitally important to their businesses, including the ever-changing policy and fiscal environment. But now I find myself at a loss for answers to questions about the future of the nation.

    Uncertainty! Heavens no! Apparently, business owners operated in a climate of perfect and uninterrupted stability and predictability prior to January 2009 when the cursed Kenyan socialist usurped the Presidency.

    What makes Murray’s piece kind of special is how brazenly he demands that military spending be protected at the same time as he calls for corporate tax cuts and granny starving!

    That is why, on Tuesday, when I listen to President Obama deliver the State of the Union, I will be careful to listen for him to discuss one issue in particular: “the State of the Debt.” To small businesses here in the Grand Canyon state, and across the country, the national debt is the most pressing issue. It is our hope that the president will directly address the debt, the deficit and the looming “sequestration” spending cuts that will devastate our state’s economy…

    …The most rapidly approaching manufactured crisis is sequestration. While sequestration would at the lowest level reduce the deficit, it is an ill-conceived policy that many economists warn is too much deficit reduction, too fast, and could plunge our nation back into a recession. The nearly $500 billion in cuts to the defense budget alone could cost Arizona up to 50,000 jobs if it go into effect. Many of our state’s small businesses rely on contracts with the Department of Defense and companies like Boeing that support our military.

    Rather than allow the sequester to be implemented, Congress needs to devise a calculated plan that makes rational spending reductions to less vital programs. Our leaders in Washington must find a way to once again forge an agreement that will address our short-term fiscal challenges, but to do so while also securing our fiscal footing over the long-term…

    Impressive. Most deficit scolds at least do a semblance of breaking those demands up into separate components so they aren’t making one big, painfully awkward, contradictory argument, but not Mr. Murray. Anyone care to guess what he considers to be “less vital programs” than military pork?

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    Donna Gratehouse

    Post Author: Donna Gratehouse


    Bio: I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, and an adventurous streak led me to join the Navy. I moved to Arizona in 1997 after serving 10 years in the Navy to work in semi-conductor manufacturing. I got involved in national and Arizona politics in 2003. I ran for 2006 State Senate in Ahwatukee and was a Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. I now live in North Central Phoenix with my boyfriend, Mark, and our three dogs. I've been blogging for Democratic Diva since 2007 about local and national politics with a strong emphasis on women's issues.


    Website: http://www.democraticdiva.com/

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