BEN HOGWOOD

MOREHEAD CITY — Cops go into something to find a solution, said Frank Palombo, the former police chief for New Bern.

And that’s why the Republican is now hoping voters in Carteret and across Congressional District 3 send him to Washington, D.C.

Mr. Palombo will be running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, who has been in office since 1994, in the GOP primary on May 8.

Mr. Palombo spoke with an audience of about 40 on Tuesday at the train depot about the need to secure the border, rewrite the tax code, adhere by the U.S. Constitution, get the government out of the way of the free market and make sure the U.S. remains the world’s leader.

“The free market will get us out of the financial disaster, but the problem is, we’ve got to get government out of the way,” he said.

Mr. Palombo said the country was able to defeat the British Empire in the Revolutionary War and the Germans, Italians and Japanese in World War II. “You know why we were successful?” he asked. “Because we’re Americans.”

Now, he said he sees “real fear” in the eyes of constituents with the direction the nation is heading and believes its future rests on the 2012 election. Either President Barack Obama has to be beaten, he said, or the Republicans have to take the House and Senate in such numbers that he is made irrelevant.

Rep. Jones has faced several challenges from both Republicans and Democrats since he took office, and like many of them, Mr. Palombo criticized Rep. Jones’ longevity in office.

He said some people in the beltway have lost touch with their districts and no longer understand life outside the capital.

“We’ve got people who have been in government their entire life,” he said. “They have no idea what we do on a daily basis.”

If he were elected, he said he would regularly return to the district and meet with the chairmen of county boards as well as mayors to develop, and champion, an agenda.

“My job as a representative is to lobby for you, and convince my colleagues that these are the right things to do,” he said.

One thing he would like to see put in place is term limits. If he were elected, he said he would only serve for three terms. Terms are two years. “I want to go to Washington because this country needs leadership, and then I want to go home,” he said.

Mr. Palombo also held a question-and-answer session with audience members, several wearing red Tea Party Patriots shirts. He shared the concern of one member who said he was worried about Social Security, and said the nation had to make a commitment to the program.

“We cannot turn our back on people who have contributed their entire life,” he said.

When it came to programs such as welfare, he said it wasn’t that he was opposed to helping others who needed it, but that it wasn’t the responsibility of the federal government. States, or even church groups or individuals, should be making those decisions, he said.

Mr. Palombo emphasized what he considered unnecessary bureaucracy at the federal level, from the Department of Education to the Department of Energy to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“A number of departments need to be evaluated,” he said.

Regarding illegal immigration, Mr. Palombo said the U.S. should first secure its border. Then, he said, it needs to address the illegal immigrants already here. He said he didn’t think it possible to round up the 11 million already in the country and send them home, but the U.S. also shouldn’t reward those people who broke the law by giving them immunity. Rather, he said, the illegal immigrants should be sent out of the country when officials come in contact with them.

Ron Manning, an audience member from Newport and a member of the Crystal Coast Tea Party, said he liked what Mr. Palombo had to say. “He gets my vote,” Mr. Manning said, adding that he believed the challenger had a chance to beat Rep. Jones.

Eric Broyles, also a Tea Party member, said Rep. Jones in some respects has done a good job, but he hasn’t taken the lead on anything. In particular, he said he expects his congressman to start impeachment proceedings against President Obama. “The Constitution is being stripped away, but congressmen are not protecting the people that put them there,” he said.

Prior to the meeting, Mr. Palombo was introduced by Capt. Steve Miller, owner of Crystal Coast Boats, who rented the train depot for the occasion. Capt. Miller said he met Mr. Palombo several months ago and that he “won me over with his frankness and honesty, and his convictions seem to be right in line with the rest of us,” he said. “We need to put people in Washington that represent us.”

(9) comments

anonymous

Ask the people and law enforcement officers of New Bern and Craven County about Mr. Palombo's "frankness and honesty!"You keep the TParty and I'll keep Walter Jones!

anonymous

I felt compelled to write after reading the comment from Nitefishin. I worked as a detective for Clearwater Police Department and retired after 22 years. Captain Palombo was my supervisor for several years and I have nothing but praise for him, as did my colleagues. If he said it, he meant it. If their was a problem, he'd fix it. He was well respected and approachable. I truly believe Mr. Palombo would do an excellent job .

anonymous

Congressman Jones comes back to the district every Friday to see people and attends churh in Farmville and Greenville. About every 5-6 weeks he spends a week traveling throughout the district and meeting with people. I think he is very in touch and active with the 3rd district.

anonymous

@ Mike-You're kidding right?!? Walter Jones is so out of touch it laughable!Question, why after 18 years as a US Congressman does he not seek to run for Senate and continue his 'self proclaimed' crusade against the government?!?He called for reducing the forces overseas but didn't have enough forward thinking to see that this would result in massive cuts to the defense budget in a district that hugely relies on military and their families!!! If he was as attentive as he claims he is, he would see that there needs to be another component to his plan to create an economically conducive environment for those who are no longer in the military to be able to obtain gainful employment.And please do not point to the legislation that would give employers a break for hiring former veterans, that is totally against free market principles and totally epitomizes the government picking winners & losers.Frank may not be the most ideal candidate BUT he is a TREMENDOUS improvement over Walter Jones.Where was Walter Jones when the tornado hit in Havelock or when we were declared a state of emergency? The only time this guy shows up is for a dedication (see Geodynamics article), festival or some other venue were 'free' is the main theme or where donations can be solicited.Ultimately, ask yourself what has he done for the district? What has he done to improve your quality of life in the community in which we live? We lost the fighter squadron to California because he can't seem to shed some closely held ideologies and work together with his own party, let alone, the other members of Congress to ensure that Eastern North Carolinian's have the quality of life we deserve.Lead by example Mr. Jones, your tenure is nearing an end...maybe not this cycle, but 2014 is right around the corner

anonymous

Has this guy ever earned a private sector paycheck? How ironic that a career bureaucrat like Frank Palombo feeds at the public trough his entire working life and retires on a cushy taxpayer-funded pension, then claims to be a fan of small government. Call me skeptical.

anonymous

“We cannot turn our back on people who have contributed their entire life,” he (Palombo) said.Isn't this ironic? Palombo is advocating for not turning our backs, and yet he's encouraging Eastern North Carolinians to turn their backs on WBJ. Rep. Jones has done nothing but work hard, day in and day out, for the people of the 3rd district. We do not need to turn our backs on the man who has made us his one and only priority since entering office. He is not a career politician - he is a career public servant.

anonymous

If you don't like WBJ that's fine, but he's a hard worker and he votes 1.Personal belief for the people 2.People of 3rd district 3.Party (R) So he always puts the people first and his party last. Palombo called him a career politition but you don't have to vote for him every 2 years... And as don't you think Palombo would be a career politition if he could?

anonymous

Congressmen are there to handle federal issue. He can and did urge for the 3rd district to be in a state of emergency, but that was actually up to Bev Perdue and Obama. WBJ toured the area with the Coast Gaurd. He's very active...

anonymous

Mike, I definitely agree with you. And something funny...“We’ve got people who have been in government their entire life,” he said. “They have no idea what we do on a daily basis.”And most citizens have no idea what congressmen do on a daily basis either. I bet you my last pay check Palombo wouldn't last a second in D.C. Walter Jones is a great representative and I would advise our district to keep the vote with him. Two words for Palombo: go home.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.