Four years after his video refute of Barack Obama went viral, Sidney businessman Denny Sollman has resigned himself to ignoring the current rhetoric…and to an endless stream of paperwork.
I don’t know if Denny Sollmann watched the Republican National Convention this week, or not. I didn’t ask.
But when I caught up with him on Tuesday he had a pile of work on his desk, papers and folders a foot deep, and he added, “I don’t even own the place anymore and I’m working as hard as I did when I did own it.”
Sollman, if you remember, was the outspoken Sidney electrician whose refuting video to President Barack Obama went viral during the 2012 Mitt Romney campaign. Responding to Obama’s claim that small businessmen didn’t become successful on their own – that they had help from the government – Sollmann went on camera with his family business to set the president, and the record, straight.
And, in fact, Obama recently doubled down on his assertion that small business is still owing to the government network of supports, reaffirming the statement he made in 2012 that got under Sollmann’s collar.
“I’ve been asked by a number of people to respond since then (2012),” he says. “But we’ve decided here to just move on.”
But that doesn’t mean he’s not informed, and not attentive to the climate that’s swept the nation…that he doesn’t still have the passion and understanding necessary for small business success.
“If the federal and state government would just get the hell out of the way and quit regulating people to death the economy would take off like a rocket,” he assures. “Like right now, I sold the business to my son in 2013 and still…all I get done is paperwork, stacks and stacks of paperwork. It just goes on, and on, and on, and on……”
No complaints, mind you, or regrets over the success of the Sollmann family business. Times are good, but not because Washington made them good. The formula is as evident as the stack of paper on his desk.
“Endless work,” he shares. “I’m here until 6 this evening. And even when you’re not working you’re still thinking about work. When you go to bed at night you lie there and wonder if you remembered to filled out all the forms. You’ve got to work 60 to 70 hours a week if you’re going to own a small business. There’s just no alternative.”
He has no plans to respond to the current campaign in the manner he did four years ago. His days of advocacy are behind him. These days he’s content to let history take its course. Now he’s just an interested, and informed, voter.
“I am concerned over the rhetoric today, because the only thing that separates us from a lot of other governments is our rule of law, and our ability to defend that rule of law. And when you start shooting the very people who are there to protect us…uh, that’s pretty sad. And where does that stem from…?”
But notwithstanding, four years later after a small, anonymous businessman made the news and broadcast television to correct the record on how business actually works, Denny Sollmann contents himself with just getting the work done…of addressing that never-ending stream of regulations and the piles of forms that keeps you connected with the federal birthright.
And he laughs now over the one great irony in all this. Government may tell you that you can’t make it on your own; but it says nothing about helping you with all that paperwork!