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HOMER, ALASKA-On August 18th of this year, the Homer Chamber of Commerce joined the growing list of defectors from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Citing loss of business member ship in the community over the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s stance on global warming and its overwhelming support for the Republican Party, the Homer Chamber of Commerce has decided to cut ties with the national organization.
The Homer Chamber of Commerce has considered severing ties earlier, according to Monte Davis, who took over as the head of that community’s Chamber in June, but made its final decision in August. Davis states, “From a purely commerce point of view, you know, it didn’t make sense for us to belong anymore. it doesn’t behoove us to be a member of that organization anymore. They certainly do not represent the interests of small towns, small businesses and individuals.”
Spokesman JP Fielder, speaking for the U.S. Chamber states that the Chamber does not base its endorsements along party lines, but its track record in the recent 2010 mid-term elections says otherwise. That Chamber promised to spend $75 million in the election but only reported $32 million.
According to Chamber Watch, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce overwhelmingly endorsed Republicans up for election in 2010 Senatorial race. There was only one Democrat endorsed in that race by the Chamber, who despite endorsement, expended no money on the candidate. That candidate was West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.
93% of all expenditures were made in support of Republican candidates for House seats, mostly in the form of attack ads in the House elections, while only 6% was expended on Democrats. That 6% was used to develop a generic ad template that was non-candidate specific which ran much later than their Republican ads.
In what was seen as a partisan move, the Chamber, prior to the 2010 elections helped organize and coordinated efforts with American Crossroads and the American Action Network to influence the elections and on the night before the elections posted on their blog, that the Chamber “had been a game-changing political force in these midterms. We’ve engaged in tight, competitive races; and we’ve altered them.”
The United States Chamber of Commerce also saw defections because of its stance on global warming. After that group lobbied against climate change legislation introduced in Congress in 2009, it suffered backlash from companies such as Exelon, PG&E, PNM Resources and Apple as they cut ties from the organization.
A list of other local Chambers around the nation who distanced themselves or cut ties as of the beginning of this year can be seen here.
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