- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jeff Miller is the Republican challenger for Congress in North Carolina’s 11th district. The incumbent, Rep. Heath Shuler, was elected on the 2006 wave that swept Democrats into power on Capitol Hill. Most Washingtonians loathe Mr. Shuler as one of the Redskins’ worst draft picks of all time, who in his previous career bilked the team for millions and was traded away as a total flop. It’s time to send Mr. Shuler packing again.

The former quarterback has used his second stint in Washington to vote for many touchstone left-wing issues such as “cap and trade” environmental regulation, the card-check union election scam, big-government financial reform and most runaway spending programs. “He’s one of Nancy Pelosi’s enablers,” Mr. Miller told The Washington Times. “If he truly has our mountain values, I don’t see how he can support her as speaker of the House.”

NC-11, at the mountainous western tip of the state, is very competitive, trading hands between parties six times in the last 30 years. Earlier surveys pegged Mr. Shuler with a 12-point lead over Mr. Miller, a political rookie, and the July 22 Cook Political Report scored the district as “likely Democratic” for the 2010 election. However, a SurveyUSA poll released Monday revealed that Mr. Shuler’s lead has vanished and the two candidates are now in a statistical dead heat. No doubt, the 11-percent approval rating for the Democrat-led Congress isn’t helping Mr. Shuler.

Mr. Miller is a small-business owner who says getting bureaucrats off the backs of the private sector and cutting federal deficits have to be top priorities. “Investors and business owners have no confidence in the future because of out-of-control government spending,” he explains. The key to real job creation is to generate a friendlier climate for business to grow, expand and begin hiring. “Government jobs come from taxes,” he points out, noting that all the jobs claimed to be created by the Obama administration are bogus. “We need private-sector jobs, real jobs. The stimulus has not created real jobs because when the money runs out, the jobs run out. Those jobs don’t count.”

The flood of new regulations and bureaucratic controls on business are making it harder for the economy to turn the corner toward recovery. Instead of freeing employers to succeed, Washington seems intent on doing the opposite. “Don’t tax them, regulate them and litigate them out of business,” Mr. Miller warns.

Today’s trend toward a centrally managed economy is not America’s destiny. “We’ll out-work, out-create anybody,” Mr. Miller says, but only when the government gets out of the way and stops its endless, intrusive and debilitating social experiments. This great country can rebound, but it will take a fundamental change in the course of government. In our current predicament, Mr. Shuler is part of the problem. Mr. Miller - and little-known challengers in districts across the nation - can be part of the solution.