Why You Should Cancel Your Membership To The Chamber of Commerce: The hidden hand of politics

Posted by overmanwarrior 6 years, 3 months ago to Business
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On the national stage The Chamber team was scrounging around for ideas, desperate for a silver bullet that might alter the course of the many close campaigns around the country where Tea Party challengers were going up against deeply entrenched Republicans. The national Chamber teams enlisted famous Republicans like Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush to star in television ads for their favored candidates. The formula had paid off. In the Georgia Senate race, they looked beyond politics, convincing Herschel Walker, the iconic University of Georgia football hero whose in-state star power is second only to Jesus, to cut an ad supporting Jack Kingston, the Chamber-backed candidate.


They needed something similar in Mississippi. That’s when Pickering, an acquaintance of former NFL quarterback legend and southern Mississippi native Brett Favre, piped up.

“I think I can get to Brett,” Pickering said.

Reed pulled out his cell phone immediately and thrust it across the table. “Call him.”

The idea set off a madcap scramble to locate Favre, convince him to get involved in a political campaign, and produce a television ad compelling enough to pierce the political clutter on TV and sway new voters who hadn’t participated in the primary, which Cochran lost by only 1,400 votes. An initial survey of the runoff, conducted in the days after the June 3 primary by Chamber pollster Tony Fabrizio, showed Cochran trailing McDaniel by eight points.

“We knew the clock was ticking,” Reed recalls. “Our strategy was to grow the electorate. It was the only way to win. We knew if it was a closed primary, we would have lost. So we made a play for Reagan Democrats. Bubba. And who better than Brett? Especially in southern Mississippi where he is an icon, and where Thad had underperformed.”

It took three days to track down Favre, who was out of the state on vacation. The Chamber also sought out Eli Manning, another NFL standout who starred at Ole Miss. But he passed on the idea. By Monday, just eight days before the runoff, Favre agreed to shoot a pro-Cochran ad on his farm near Hattiesburg. Favre’s parents were schoolteachers; they sold him with Cochran’s promise to protect federal education funding.

“Brett is not a political guy,” says Rob Engstrom, who, along with Reed, helms the Chamber’s political operation. “But when we talked to him about it, he looked at it and said, ‘This is about our state.’ It appealed to him. He said yes right away.”

Back at Chamber headquarters in Washington, across the street from the White House, Reed and Engstrom scrambled the jets.

Their go-to film crew drove through the night across the Gulf Coast from Pensacola, Florida, to Hattiesburg. Their creative director caught a seat on the last flight south out of Dulles. Tuesday morning was spent shooting the commercial on Favre’s 460-acre farm.


Satisfied with the footage, the film crew flew back to Washington that night. The ad was in edit the next morning, and by Wednesday night the commercial — which showed Favre sitting on the bed of a truck, telling viewers that “Thad Cochran always delivers” — was shipped to television stations in Mississippi. The Chamber put $100,000 behind the spot every day for the final six days of the campaign.

Brett Favre, who grew up near Hattiesburg, starred in a Chamber-produced TV spot for Thad Cochran in Mississippi that saturated airwaves in the state for the final week of the runoff election. Cochran pulled off a miracle, winning in narrow and dramatic fashion by only 6,700 votes — a result still being disputed by a flabbergasted McDaniel campaign.

It wasn’t the Chamber’s ad alone that did it. The Cochran campaign made a concerted push to grow turnout after the primary, a push that involved recruiting African-American voters and Republicans who might have otherwise stayed home. Other outside allies coordinated to do the same. But the Chamber’s role in helping drag Cochran over the finish line is undisputed.


“The guys at the Chamber are pros,” says Henry Barbour, a veteran GOP operative and Cochran supporter who ran a super PAC supporting the candidate. “They helped orchestrate an overall strategic effort that at the end of the day helped Sen. Cochran close the margins and win the election.”

The Mississippi runoff was a signal moment for the Chamber in what’s quickly becoming the most aggressive political cycle in its 102-year history.

The conservative-leaning outfit, known mainly for its heavyweight policy and lobbying practices — it spent $74 million on lobbying in 2013, according to the Center For Responsive Politics — has emerged as one of the most powerful actors in American political campaigns, with roughly $17 million spent so far on Senate and House races, all of it on behalf of Republicans friendly to the business community.

In doing so, the Chamber has planted itself firmly on the front line of the GOP establishment’s push to extinguish tea party ideologues wherever they threaten business-backed candidates — in Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, and elsewhere.

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/poli...
SOURCE URL: http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/why-you-should-cancel-your-membership-to-the-chamber-of-commerce-the-hidden-hand-of-politics/


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  • Posted by BradA 6 years, 3 months ago
    Mark Levin rightly refers to them as the Chamber of Crony Capitalism.

    What I can't figure out is why any conservative would support them or vote for their candidates. Are conservatives as clueless as liberals? Blindly following like sheep?
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 6 years, 3 months ago
    The Chamber is also in the lead to legalize illegal immigrants as a source of low cost labor. It's nearsighted obsession with short-term profit is poison to the health of the republic.
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  • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 6 years, 3 months ago
    Hello overmanwarrior,
    I gave up on the Chamber a long time ago. They are in the pockets of the wrong people. I support the National Write Your Congressman (www.nwyc.com). They are interested in supporting small businesses since they are the backbone of our economy, and don't have the power of pull that the Mega-corps do. I wish I could do more...
    Regards,
    O.A.
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  • Posted by $ arthuroslund 6 years, 3 months ago
    AR was opposed to joining any organizations. What we see above is a good example of why.
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    • Posted by DeadRight 6 years, 3 months ago
      I am anti-institutional for the reason that ultimately institutions become best at supporting the institution and not serving its original people or goal. Keep the Tea party as a loose group of ideas and people. This does not mean that I do not participate in them.
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    • Posted by $ CBJ 6 years, 3 months ago
      Opposed in principle or as a matter of personal preference? Joining or becoming involved with the Tea Party gives us an opportunity to be a good influence on the group (counteracting the social conservatives, for instance). Also, the Tea Party can be an excellent venue for spreading Objectivist values, and becoming active in a Tea Party group can enable us to help guide the group's choice of candidates - some Tea Party candidates have been great, but some have been truly awful.
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      • Posted by $ arthuroslund 6 years, 3 months ago
        I think it was a matter of principle. The problem with the Tea Party is that they can be attacked and slandered by the left. The left likes to package people into one deal. They find one bad apple in an organization and project it onto everyone else in that organization. Sometimes they plant thugs to subvert and display some stereotype like racism. Better to communicate as an individual instead of letting others speak for you.
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      • Posted by DeadRight 6 years, 3 months ago
        Please consider that social conservatives understand the relationship between fiscal and moral issues. The libs out there want to have others pay for their low moral behavior. There is not enough money in the world to pay for the sins of others. Examples; paying for abortions and birth control, paying for welfare instead of working and being productive, even if it means volunteering to add value back to the welfare providers, Putting excessive public resources to aids studies when quarantine and behavior modification can easily solve this problem. Not to mention other diseases that kill more and are not preventable by behavior could use those funds more productively.
        I find most people that claim to be fiscal conservatives and social liberals do so for the perceived approval of others. Much of what people claim to believe has to do with peer pressure. Others that I disagree with about morality have actually thought through their positions like being for abortion because of not wanting more kids on welfare or un-parented.
        But to attempt to pay for half of the country to be on welfare with no value-back contribution is ultimately going to drain the borrowing tree dry and kill it. Then immorality will flourish to the point of outright anarchy and rioting.
        If we do not have morals while rich, imagine what we will become when we are poor.
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        • Posted by $ CBJ 6 years, 3 months ago
          Social conservatives understand the relationship between fiscal and moral issues only when it suits them. For the most part, they support the war on drugs (which is both a fiscal and moral catastrophe) and support restrictions on social and economic freedom (examples: abortion, gay marriage, gambling, prostitution) when such freedom conflicts with their religious views. I also don't see social conservatives objecting to tax exemptions for churches, which force non-religious people to subsidize their public costs.
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 6 years, 3 months ago
    This points out why the Tea Party needs to become a separate party more than ever. Even if they beat the Chamber of Commerce-backed GOP candidates in the primary, those "main line" GOP people will never support someone of Gulch values. It is time to shrug.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 3 months ago
      I'm in the RR camp - we don't need a new party, we just need to retake our party. That means getting control of the local apparatus - most importantly the county chairmanships and organization. If each of us got involved at that level, we could make dramatic change occur.
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      • Posted by $ jbrenner 6 years, 3 months ago
        Good luck with that. Our county's RPOF chairman got kicked out of the RPOF by the governor's henchmen for trying to make such dramatic change here in Florida.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 3 months ago
          Not sure how that works in Florida. Here, the chairman is elected by the registered party members.
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          • Posted by $ jbrenner 6 years, 3 months ago
            Our county's Republican Party chairman was elected and supported by our county's Republican Party. My county led the charge against the then Republican governor, now Democrat challenger, Charlie Crist. Crist's appointed enforcer, the now jailed Jim Greer, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Greer) excommunicated our county's chairman, Jason Steele. The Republican Party will never get a penny from me again. I only support individual candidates, and only rarely do I do that.
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  • Posted by bassboat 6 years, 3 months ago
    The Chamber is nothing more than a bureaucratic entity much like the Dept of Energy or Education. They are in it for their do nothing jobs, access to power, and getting re-elected.
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  • Posted by mckenziecalhoun 6 years, 3 months ago
    “The devil is compromise”

    Henrik Ibsen quotes (Major Norwegian playwright of the late 19th century, 1828-1906)

    People often complain that they shouldn't compromise their Republican/Democratic principles by compromising with the other party.

    To let a party homogenize your views, average the results of your fellow party members and push that agenda as if it is yours IS compromise, automatic and nearly mind-less compromise on a scale that covers nearly two-thirds of our country.

    If a party represents your every vote, if you vote the party line or even are represented by a representative, you have compromised.

    Compromise is sometimes necessary - a fish-monger and a politician are often very different things.

    If you want to say, "I do not compromise", then RUN FOR OFFICE! Doesn't matter what - thousands of seats and positions go unfilled every year in government because no one runs for them. Run for office. Even then, there is compromise, but less.

    Does the Tea Party have the strength in numbers and ideology to stand on it's own? I doubt it. Wait for impetus/an event that throws people into the Tea Party - or create it.
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