The battle for small and smart government has several fronts to include the battles waged by business teaming up in local chambers of commerce. Many of these business owners would consider themselves fans of small government and the ideals that conservatives fight for. Many involved with their chamber of commerce would have no problem calling themselves Republicans–but that does not mean their money is supporting a small government organization.
In March, Texas Tech University held the Innovation and Economic Prosperity Forum with the goal of the forum to discuss how Texas Tech could increase economic development in Lubbock and the Texas South Plains.
Lubbock Chamber of Commerce President Eddie McBride said that one of the obstacles facing economic development was the “anti-tax sentiment” among Lubbock residents, according to reporting from KFYO-AM Lubbock. Last year, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce approached state lawmakers about pushing a bill that would have allowed a one-cent increase in the sales tax, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. State Representatives Charles Perry and John Frullo as well as State Senator Robert Duncan did not embrace the idea.
On a national level, Breitbart News has offered several stories of actions the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has taken to defeat conservative ideals.
In February, Breitbart News reported that U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue urged members of Congress to pass amnesty proposals immediately. Donahue wrote that “there will never be a perfect time for reform…The political landscape isn’t going to be any more conducive to reform in two years or four years”.
It wasn’t the first time that the U.S. Chamber had advocated for immigration reform or had tried to work against conservatives. In January, Tony Lee of Breitbart News reported that the Chamber held the “right” responsible as being the problem.
“The left has never been the problem on this,” Randel Johnson, the chamber’s senior vice president, said on Friday during an immigration summit in Washington. “The right is the problem.”
As Breitbart News noted, that is why the Chamber is reportedly going to spend $50 million against the Tea Party, largely because the Tea Party opposes amnesty and some “comprehensive” immigration reform proposals. According to Bloomberg News, the Chamber of Commerce wants to “rewrite” the immigration laws because current policies limit “access to workers.”
Amnesty is just one of the issues where conservatives and the Chamber do not align on a national level. The disconnects can be seen on the local level as well.
The growing disconnects between Main Street chambers of commerce and their Washington component must continue to be studied as the immigration fight is set to intensify in 2014.
Chad Hasty is the host of the Chad Hasty Show on KFYO-AM Lubbock. Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadyHastyRadio