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2010 Election Richard Falknor on 09 Oct 2010 05:40 pm

Is Anyone Really Surprised? U.S. Chamber Endorses Kratovil

UPDATE OCTOBER 14! Timothy Carney reveals yesterday in his Washington Examiner post “Chamber-backed Dems tagged as pro-Big Business” – – “Trouble is,the chamber doesn’t just support Republicans. It has endorsed several House Democrats, vulnerable freshmen who have been buoyed by the chamber’s six-figure ad buys. Across the Chesapeake Bay, on the Eastern Shore, these chamber ads are hard to miss, celebrating Maryland’s Frank Kratovil and Virginia’s Glenn Nye — both Democrats elected in 2008 — for advancing a ‘pro-business’ agenda. These endorsements undermine the Democrats’ ‘Big Business loves Republicans’ message, and they also highlight the tension between the business community and an electorate desperate for economic growth but also distrustful of bailout barons and K Street lobbyists.” (Emphasis Forum’s.)   Read the whole story about incumbents Kratovil’s and Nye’s support for “budget busters.”

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“Philosophically, the US Chamber is very much in tune with Frank Kratovil’s political ideology.  Contrary to what most folks believe, the US Chamber does not support free markets.  They claim to support ‘free enterprise’, but only so far as “free enterprise” continues to allow their core constituencies to feed at the public trough.  In other words, the US Chamber is corporatist, not conservative.” (Underscoring Forum’s.) – – Cato at Delmarva Dealings

Yesterday Paul West in the Baltimore Sun reported in his “Chamber of Commerce promoting Kratovil” – –

“The big business lobby dropped $168,841, according to Federal Election Commission records, on its buy on behalf of Kratovil in Maryland’s First District, which spans the Chesapeake Bay to take in portions of Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Harford counties, plus the entire Eastern Shore.”

Delmarva Dealings addresses the question “Why Did The US Chamber Endorse Frank Kratovil?” – –

“I received an email today.  It read, in part,: . . . . ‘If the US Chamber of Commerce is running ads to promote a candidate who voted lock-step with Pelosi/Reid/Obama on virtually every issue except Obamacare, we have a real problem with ESTABLISHMENT Washington.'”

Maybe revisiting some earlier Chamber missteps will reveal even more – – let’s review, for example, our April 8, 2009 – Big Business, Free Enterprise, Romancing the “Moderates.”

There we cited – –

“Timothy Carney in his [then] recent DC Examiner post “New Chamber index shows conservatives aren’t corporate pawns” here declare[d] that – –

‘Liberal Democrats often accuse conservative Republicans of being pawns for Big Business, but the 2008 scorecard for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—the largest lobbying organization in the country and the official Washington voice of business—provides convincing evidence to the contrary. In fact, the policy agenda of big business can be very different from that of limited-government conservatives and libertarians.

Four Republican senators failed to earn the Chamber’s “Spirit of Enterprise Award” (earned for scoring 70% or above): DeMint, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

These are among the most fiscally conservative, pro-limited government members of the upper chamber—which is precisely their error, in the eyes of the Chamber. The heroes of the small government cause are the goats of the big business cause. ‘ ” (Emphasis Forum’s.)

Read the entire Carney piece to see what public policies the U.S. Chamber finds really tasty.  Some examples – –

“These four [senators DeMint, Inhofe, Kyl, and Sessions] also voted against the Chamber’s position by opposing President George W. Bush’s February 2008 stimulus bill that sent checks to taxpayers. The ‘rebates’ were one-time tax credits that excluded higher-income earners but included some people with no income tax liability.

Conservatives instead proposed long-term, broad-based tax cuts—for example, making permanent the 2001 tax cuts set to expire in 2011—as opposed to one-time stunts turning the IRS into a welfare agency.

And, of course, DeMint, Inhofe, and Sessions upset the Chamber by voting against the massive $700 billion Wall Street bailout—which has since grown into a Detroit bailout, and a tool which the Obama administration is using to tell banks and carmakers how to run their businesses.” (Emphasis Forum’s.)

By way of background, Robert Costa at National Review on Line reported last February that “Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.), Skeptic Man, tops National Journal’s annual congressional vote ratings as the most conservative member of the Senate. According to NJ, Inhofe was the only senator with a perfect conservative score in 2009.”

But not even close to perfect among  the crony capitalists at the Chamber.

The Chamber and Immigration

And, as we wrote in 2009, readers might also be interested in viewing some of the U.S. Chamber’s spending on immigration lobbying (go to page 6 of this linked report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform) – –

“What we do know through its public statements is that the U.S. Chamber has expressed its firm opposition to E-Verify and pledged its resources
to ‘push for comprehensive immigration reform’ and a ‘pathway to legitimation for undocumented workers.’ . . . It has also advocated increasing visas to allow more skilled and unskilled workers to come to the U.S.”

Whoever accepts the Chamber’s support at a critical pre-election juncture can be assured that the Chamber will return after November to make their case for amnesty and related matters. (As likely would any other interest group in behalf of their particular concerns.)

In his first term, Mr. Kratovil received a “B” rating from NumbersUSA. Prudent voters, however,  will now wish to ask Mr. Kratovil for his specific positions on immigration: amnesty, e-verify, the Arizona bill, and all the other hot points.

GOP Lieutenant Governor Candidate Mary Kane and the Chamber Endorsement of Frank Kratovil

Mary Kane’s Maryland biography (as former secretary of state) lists her position with the U.S. Chamber – –

“Director of Special Projects, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2007-

Her campaign biography declares – –

“As Special Projects Director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mary helps lead the Campaign for Free Enterprise, a multi-year project that inspires Americans to pursue their dreams through individual initiative, and the Chamber’s Military and Veteran’s Initiative, which encourages companies to employ U.S. veterans and their families as they transition back into the workforce.  She also works on the Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center, which is designed to establish and maintain a positive role for businesses in society.”

So where does Mrs. Kane stand on the Chamber’s endorsement of Representative Kratovil? 

Maybe she should do an ad for Andy Harris along these lines: “My name is Mary Kane, and even though I have worked with the US Chamber of Commerce, I am here to tell you that Dr Harris is the real voice of free markets and low taxes in the First Congressional District.”

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