An open letter to President Obama (Part 16 of my response to State of Union Speech 1-24-12)

Congressman Rick Crawford State of the Union Response 2012

Uploaded by  on Jan 24, 2012

Rep. Rick Crawford responds to the State of the Union address January 24, 2012


President Obama’s state of the union speech Jan 24, 2012

Barack Obama  (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

The Heritage Foundation website ( ) has lots of good articles and one that caught my attention was concerning your State of Union Speech on January 24, 2012 and here is a short portion of that article:

Want to Bring Back Jobs? Avoid Overcriminalization – Joe Luppino-Esposito

President Obama claims that he wants to bring more manufacturing jobs back into the United States and wants to encourage small business and entrepreneurship by tearing down regulations.

He can start by avoiding the criminalization of American businesses by means of outrageous statutes such as the Lacey Act.  Just ask the workers at the Gibson Guitar plant in Tennessee, who were confronted by armed federal agents because of allegations that they imported wood from India that wasn’t properly finished with Indian labor.  That’s right: the administration is seeking to enforce protectionist labor laws for other countries. Thanks to the Lacey Act, violation of environmental regulations of a foreign nation becomes a federal crime.  Gibson’s CEO has come out swinging against the Lacey Act, but if the President meant what he said about protecting US jobs, then after tonight, he should find an ally in Obama, who can tell his Department of Justice to stop pursuing Gibson.

Entrepreneurs such as Abner Schoenwetter, would also like to get some relief from regulations: Honduran regulations, that is.  He too was found guilty under the Lacey Act because of using plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes to ship lobsters for his seafood importing business.  Schoenwetter spent five years in a U.S. federal prison for his regulatory errors.

So if Obama wants to encourage American jobs, he would do well to stop making it a crime to engage in business here.


My own business ran up against some regulations for some imports that we brought in and the delay was blamed on the Lacey Act. Reasonableness has gone out of the window it seems.

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your committment as a father and a husband.


Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

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