Vincent A. Cogliano Jr., of Pembroke is running for Congress in the Sept. 9 Republican primary, seeking the right to oppose the Democratic incumbent William Keating in November. The "Jr." is important, because at 98, Vincent A. Sr. continues to work the 12.9-acre Pembroke farm he bought in 1950.
Candidate Vince Jr. was raised in Pembroke and would return to serve as a town Selectman for six years. In the interim he traveled the world, served in the U.S. Army (1966-'68), started and ran successful businesses, and lived in Indiana before coming back to Pembroke in 1986.
The business he seems proudest of was a company providing video links when such things were new, connecting historically black colleges with major universities. This gave students at the former access to computer science and engineering and at the highest levels. The company's video conferencing caught the attention of the U.S. Defense Department, which became a major funder and named the company "Defense Department Contractor of the Year" in 1989.
This ended abruptly in 1990 in the lead-up to the first Gulf War, when the Defense Department's funding was eliminated. "No one starts a business to lay people off," Mr. Cogliano says. At this low point, he needed a car to find employment for himself, but could not get a car loan. With he was back on his feet he started a new company providing auto-finance credit at reasonable interest. A door had closed; another had opened.
Mr. Cogliano's passion for what small business can do fires his candidacy for Congress. He believes all businesses face too many taxing and regulatory hurdles. Above all, they suffocate under the burdens of regulatory compliance, which keeps them from growing and hiring. "There are two theories of regulation," he says. "One is to prosecute evil-doers, which I support. The other is to anticipate evil doing bureaucratically – which is impossible!"
For that reason, Mr Cogliano is against most aspects of the complex new regulatory regime imposed by Obama-care. He favors smaller government, balanced budgets and tax reform that would encourage companies to repatriate profits to the United States. "If the money comes back it will put people to work!"
Mr. Cogliano lives on the family farm him Pembroke, fretting that in his 99th year Vince Sr. has planted more than he can harvest. Candidate Vince has two grown daughters and three precious granddaughters.