The more I learn about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the more I am convinced that the national organization does not represent the interest of our local Chamber. The national organization, which is funded by big corporate interests – oil, insurance, tobacco and drug industries – cares nothing for small business owners in any state and certainly not Alabama. Their lobbyists spend their time fighting for the Exxons and Wal-Marts of the world, not locally owned businesses, and that’s difficult to justify. I am an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and can attest to the fact that the U.S. Chamber operates independently of our organization. Frankly, the national group has become nothing more than a front for the giants of Corporate America. Its primary mission has become one designed to destroy the jury system in our country resulting in protection for corporate wrongdoers. Tremendous sums of money are collected from the giants in the industries mentioned above and others, which is then poured into court races in selected states. The U.S. Chamber also gets involved in legislative issues at the national and state levels and they are always on the side of the corporate giants and not small business owners.
A number of local and state chambers of commerce have been working to distance themselves from the national group. For example, you might want to take a look at what is going on in West Virginia. Steve Roberts, who is president of that state’s chamber, is dismayed over the U.S. chamber’s approach to politics. It appears that the national organization got involved in a fight in the West Virginia legislature and took a stance that was bad for local businesses. Their action was described as a real slap in the face for local chambers of commerce that are working hard for the betterment of their communities in West Virginia. I recommend that you ask officials with your local chamber if they support the anti-consumer and anti-small business strategies and tactics of the national group. I suspect you will find that most all of the local folks don’t even understand what the U.S. Chamber is doing politically. If they did, most would likely be shocked.
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