Elect 2012: Beitler touts experience in race for secretary of state
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Mike Beitler says his 35 years of broad experience in business sets him apart as a candidate for N.C. Secretary of State.
Beitler, of Oak Hill in Guilford County, visited the Salisbury Post this week while on the campaign trail. He is a business professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a business consultant and a former chief financial officer.
“I’ve been a business consultant for most of my career, so I’ve worked in a wide variety of industries,” Beitler said. “I really like working with business people. I think that’s what we need in the Secretary of State’s office — somebody who knows how to speak the language and understands what we need to do to promote job growth and creation in the state.”
He joins two other candidates, former Wake County Commissioner Kenn Gardner and Chowan County Commissioner Ed Goodwin, who have filed so far to run in the Republican primary. They each hope to challenge current N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, a Democrat, in the general election.
If Beitler wins the primary, it won’t be his first time running against Marshall. They both ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2010 — Beitler as a Libertarian — to challenge Republican Sen. Richard Burr.
On Tuesday, Beitler said Marshall isn’t following the part of her job description that says to facilitate business in North Carolina.
He said he knows how to do that, and it involves “getting government out of the way.”
“I think business people would love to have their taxes reduced, but the thing I hear that’s equally important to them — if not more important — is lowering the regulatory burden as well,” Beitler said.
Some regulations are necessary to protect the public, he said, but those that don’t help customers should be eliminated.
He said he could help with these efforts under the Secretary of State’s corporations division, which manages legal documents filed by corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies.
Another way to make the state more business-friendly, Beitler said, is to make the process of filing these documents easier through the Secretary of State’s website.
He said it could work in a similar way to online tax software, using targeted questions to direct business owners to the exact documents and resources they need.
Beitler called for more transparency in the office’s lobby compliance division, which registers and regulates lobbying in North Carolina.
He said a the securities division, which licenses and investigates brokers throughout the state, “needs to operate as efficiently as possible.”
Beitler is the host of an Internet radio talk show called “Free Markets” and the author of three books.
He received a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Central Florida in 1976, a master’s degree in psychology from Norwich University in 1994 and a doctorate in leadership development from the The Union Institute in 1997.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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