Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maria Talamo: Anti-Competition, Anti-Free Enterprise

The race for Cedar Park City Council Place 6 continues to reflect the national struggle over which political philosophy will determine America's future. While municipal elections are nominally 'non-partisan' and candidates are often deliberately vague about party affiliation, Maria Talamo's recent comments before the City Council place her squarely in the camp of leftists who prefer socialistic government control over business rather than promoting a free enterprise system beneficial to consumers.

When the Cedar Park City Council took up the issue of amending General Office zones to allow for ambulatory surgery centers (ASC's) and drug stores, Maria Talamo gave testimony opposing the measure, since the ASC's would compete directly with the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. Talamo and company seem to fear that patients might exercise consumer choice and utilize the less expensive ASC's for outpatient medical needs. Instead of a competitive market and lower prices for consumers, Talamo prefers to protect a monopoly for the CP Regional Medical Center, even to the point of asking the Council to favor one private business over another, an abuse of power that would certainly lead to years of litigation for the city.

Even more disturbing is a possible conflict of interest for Maria Talamo, since she told several Cedar Park residents she was seeking the previously open CEO position at the hospital. At this most recent city council meeting Ms. Talamo declared the hospital needed protection from competition, yet sources say she recently lobbied against a $4,000,000 tax incentive payment to the hospital from the city. It is unclear if she was against the payment to the hospital before or after she sought employment there.

Thankfully, Maria Talamo's leftist mindset did not sway the Cedar Park City Council. “I'm unwilling to use the power of the city to restrict competition,” said Councilman Tony Dale. “Also, we have no written agreement to do that.”

Maria Talamo's testimony before the City Council, along with her claims of being a "card-carrying member of the ACLU," indicate that she is much farther to the left than the good residents of Cedar Park.

Don Tracy, who will face Talamo in the run off election on June 12, has a much clearer vision of how competition works in the American free enterprise system and how it benefits consumers. Cedar Park residents would be much better served by Tracy's fiscally conservative approach and support for healthy competition in the marketplace.

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