Chamber's Partisan, Self-Serving Policies Scaring Away Local Chambers, Large Corporations and the 99%

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Local chambers, major corporations, and community members have continued the “great migration” away from the U.S. Chamber’s partisanship this fall. Even in an off-election year, major news publications have covered local chambers quitting the U.S. Chamber or distancing from it; a major corporation cutting ties with the Chamber; and hundreds of ordinary citizens standing outside the Chamber’s DC headquarters, reminding America that the Chamber only works for the 1% and supports the very policies that got the 99% into an economic boondoggle at he behest of Wall Street firms. The truth about the U.S. Chamber is scaring once-supportive members and citizens away in droves. Beware of the Chamber’s lies.

Local Chambers Say “R.I.P.” to their U.S. Chamber Membership

October 2011: Asheville NC Chamber Left U.S. Chamber, Said it was “Distraction” From Goals. According to the Mountain Express, in late October 2011, the Asheville Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina was “no longer associated with the U.S. Chamber.” According to the Mountain Express, the local chamber’s website indicated “The Asheville Chamber is a non-partisan organization focused on job creation. We find the discussion of membership in the US Chamber to be a distraction from that goal. Therefore, it was the staff’s recommendation that we not renew our membership with the US Chamber as of October 2011.” [Mountain Express, 10/28/11; Asheville Citizen Times, 10/30/11]

October 2011: Newton-Needham MA Chamber of Commerce “Parts Ways with U.S. Chamber.” In October 2011, the Needham Times reported that the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce, located in Massachusetts “is cutting ties with the U.S. Chamber after local member businesses expressed a concern over a perceived political right wing slant by the national organization.” Netwon-Needham Chamber President Bob Halpin said, “If [Chamber members] want political access then there are many ways that they can individually join a political organization. While we advocate for business, we are not a political organization…It was really not something that we felt was adding to what we’re trying to do for our members locally, which is to help them be more successful in business, drive revenue and network.” [Needham Times, 10/5/11]

September 2011: Homer AK Chamber Quit U.S. Chamber Over its Partisanship and High Membership Costs. In September 2011, as reported by the AP and NPR, the Homer Chamber of Commerce in Homer, Alaska announced that it was “dumping its affiliation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the national organization's right-leaning platforms.” According to the AP, Monte Davis, Executive Director for the Homer Chamber “found a handful of local businesses that refused to join the chamber because of its affiliation with the U.S. Chamber, even though the national group is not a parent organization of local or state chambers as some believe. Davis brought up the issue before the Homer Chamber's board of directors, who had addressed the idea before but retained membership. In their August vote, the board decided to sever ties with the U.S. Chamber.” [CBS News, 9/18/11; NPR, 9/30/11]

Yahoo! Severs Ties with U.S. Chamber

October 2011: “Yahoo! Quits Chamber of Commerce.” In mid-October 2011, Yahoo.com became the latest large corporation to sever its membership with the U.S. Chamber. According to the Hill, a statement by the company said, “As our membership renewal time neared and we reviewed our membership, we decided not to renew.” Also according to the Hill, “…it's no secret that the Internet company and the chamber have at least one political conflict over a bill that would block overseas websites selling counterfeit goods, such as discount golf clubs and tax-free cigarettes. In the past several months, the chamber has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a vigorous lobbying campaign in support of the legislation which would authorize the Justice Department to file a civil action against foreign websites ‘dedicated to infringing activities.’ The bill, introduced in May by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), has 31 co-sponsors.” [The Hill, 10/13/11]

Citizens Expose Chamber’s Tricks and True Mission to Treat the 1%

October 28, 2011: Washington Post: “Howard students support Occupy DC [March to U.S. Chamber]”

October 6, 2011: CNN.com: “Hundreds in Washington decry U.S.-led wars, economic woes”

October 6, 2011: NBC Washington: “Raw Video: Veterans Join Occupy DC Protest Near White House”

Just In

Whose opportunity does U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue talk about when he talks about opportunity?

The Chamber’s policies might give the largest corporations the opportunity to grow, but that is often not the same thing as growth and opportunity for the American people. After-tax corporate profits in the third quarter topped 11 percent of GDP for the first time since the records started in 1947. But everyday Americans aren’t doing so well, with real median household income declining 4.4 percent since 2009.

When the Chamber opposes increasing minimum wages to coincide with growth in productivity and the economy overall, one must ask whose growth and opportunity the Chamber is pushing for.