As ThinkProgress has reported, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a right-wing political machine. Not only is it running political ads that overwhelmingly support Republicans, but the Chamber’s 116-member board of directors also gives millions to support Republican candidates.
The Nashua Telegraph reports the U.S. Chamber’s participation in right-wing politics is now causing it to lose losing some of its local support. Jerry Mayotte, executive vice president of the Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce, announced last Friday that his group is leaving the U.S. Chamber because he does not want to be associated with the national Chamber’s political ads in favor of Republican candidates:
“We didn’t like the fact that the U.S. Chamber was supporting particular candidates,” Mayotte said. “We don’t think it’s good business practice to do so.
“We take stands on particular issues considering business, but not particular candidates.”
“I don’t believe we lose anything,” Mayotte said. “As far as I’m concerned, I could not find one positive thing to say about being involved in the U.S. Chamber.”
The Telegraph notes, “It’s still a common misunderstanding that all local chambers are connected to the national group in some way.” In fact, in New Hampshire, at least four other local chambers have distanced themselves from the national Chamber due to its participation in politics. The Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Merrimack Area Chamber of Commerce have not been a part of the national Chamber because they do not want to be associated with the U.S. Chamber’s political activity. The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce even emphasized at a local event recently that “we are not accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; we are not a member.”
In Virginia, the local Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce has refused to endorse the political attack ads that the national Chamber is running in its area to defeat Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA).
As conservatives like Glenn Beck and Rand Paul try to elide the differences between the U.S. Chamber and local chambers, these local acts of defiance should serve to remind people that not all local chambers support the activities of the national group.