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Local Chambers Not Happy with U.S. Chamber on Health Care Repeal
Local chambers across the United States – even those with Republican leadership - are distancing themselves from the U.S. Chamber on repealing health care reform. Today, Mother Jones further exposed the rift between the stridently partisan politics of the U.S. Chamber and the moderate local Chambers it purports to represent. Local Chambers are rebuffing the National Chamber…
…In Draper, Utah:
"Hopefully they don't throw the whole thing out—and this is coming from a Republican...I don't believe we're in a place in this country where we're just going to throw people in the street and let them die. We have to have some sort of safety net.'" –William Rappleye, President, Draper Chamber of Commerce (Utah)
…In Brooklyn, New York:
“A lot of the small business community supports the idea that everybody should have health insurance. This is a basic need for everybody.” --Carl Hum, President, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
…In Salt Lake City, Utah:
“...The Chamber's support for repeal ‘doesn't mean we're always in lockstep with them on everything—their position doesn't control our vote.’” –Marty Carpenter, Spokesman, Salt Lake Chamber
This new report just adds to the growing chorus of local chambers and business community members telling the U.S. Chamber “you don’t speak for us.”
As you may remember:
The U.S. Chamber Went All Out to Kill Health Care Reform, Funded By a Staggering $86 Million Contribution from Health Insurance Companies. In November, Bloomberg reported that the US Chamber had received $86 million from health insurance companies through America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), to be used to kill health reform efforts. The single donation represented nearly half of the Chamber's lobbying bill for the entire year. The New York Times reported that in November 2009 alone, the Chamber spent $24 million on its campaign against the legislation.
New York Times, 11/22/09
Local Chambers Of Commerce Have Distanced and Broken Away En Masse Over the Last Year, Revolting Against the U.S. Chamber's Stridently Partisan Campaigns. In December, Politico reported that the Chamber was "under fire from some local chambers over its hard-hitting $75 million ad campaign to elect a Republican House, with dozens of groups distancing themselves from the effort and a handful even quitting the national group in protest." More than 40 local Chambers had issued statements during the campaign distancing themselves from the national group. And just last week, the bleeding continued, with two Massachusetts Chambers quitting in protest.
Berkshire Eagle, 1/20/11