B'ville: Business leader calls government policies 'criminal'

Describing himself as "infuriated" by America's loss of jobs and wealth, businessman and government reform advocate Mark Bitz announced his candidacy for Congress today.

Addressing a crowd of supporters at Stickley Industries in Manlius, Bitz, a Republican, placed the blame for our current economic woes squarely on what he called "bad government policies."

"Fully two-thirds of the substandard loans in default and Wall Street's unsound investment practices are the direct result of horrific government policies," he said. "These policies are criminal, have yet to be corrected, and continue to jeopardize our future. I'm running to correct these and numerous other irresponsible policies."

"The genius of our fathers and forefathers, and the foundation of our past successes, was distrusting and checking concentrations of power," Bitz said. "Today, we have those concentrations of power, and they exchange campaign contributions for favorable legislation and control of the tax revenue stream. They are transforming our country into one we can hardly recognize."

Bitz said he is not a career politician, nor does he have any interest in being one. He pledged to work for term limits, and noted he would "look forward to the day when I can be home to work alongside my sons and grandchildren in the family business."

Bitz, 50, has never run for public office before. He is the former owner and CEO of Plainville Farms, and is the founder of Central New York Feeds and co-founder of Central New York Crops. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and a Master of Science degree from Cornell University.

Bitz has been active in numerous business and civic organizations including The Business Council of New York State, The Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse, the Manufacturer's Association of CNY, the Cornell University Council and the Greater Syracuse YMCA.

Mark and Lou Bitz have been married for almost 30 years. Together, they have two sons, Karl and Asher. The Bitz family makes their home in Baldwinsville.

Bitz is seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei in the 25th Congressional District, which includes Onondaga and Wayne counties, and parts of Monroe and Cayuga counties.

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