Extremist Republican Tom Cotton, joined by an assortment of corporate lobbyists, proudly announced today his endorsement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is another good reason — a very good reason — to vote against Tom Cotton.
It is NOT, as you might think, really an umbrella organization for all the little chambers around the country that labor to land business. It is a fully integrated part of the Republican machine and anonymously funded. It can be found on the wrong side of every populist issue — from wages and worker protection to the environment and fair taxes. Source Watch notes:
… the New York Times reported in October 2010 that half of the Chamber’s $140 million in contributions in 2008 came from just 45 big-money donors, many of whom enlisted the Chamber’s help to fight political and public opinion battles on their behalf (such as opposing financial or healthcare reforms, or other regulations). The Chamber is “dominated by oil companies, pharmaceutical giants, automakers and other polluting industries,” according to James Carter, executive director of the Green Chamber of Commerce.
Drill baby drill. Where there’s a Koch there’s a Cotton. He’s proud of his 92 percent chamber voting record, an affront to day-laboring Arkansans.
The U.S. Chamber is so bad, Source Watch notes:
The U.S. Chamber’s partisan, corporate-funded (and often untrue) campaign attacks have compelled many local Chambers of Commerce to disassociate from the U.S. Chamber. Despite the U.S. Chamber’s attempts to portray itself as a community of small businesses and local Chambers of Commerce, the interests the U.S. Chamber served in the 2010 elections were those of its large corporate donors. More than 40 local chambers issued statements during the campaign distancing themselves from the U.S. Chamber, including chambers in the “battleground states” of Iowa and New Hampshire. Some chambers are considering what Politico calls the “extraordinary” step of ending their affiliation with the U.S. Chamber and quitting in protest.
I’m reminded that I’ve often noted the position of Little Rock chamber figureheads on the U.S. Chamber’s leadership manifest. I note it in the context of city taxpayer contributions to an organization that fought workplace fairness and health care reform. When this is brought up, Little Rock chamber boss Jay Chesshir takes pains to assert his group has no formal connection with the U.S. Chamber. Oh, but by their deeds at the Arkansas legislature, you can’t help but notice the resemblance.
POLL UPDATE: The all-over-the-map Republican-leaning Rasmussen’s latest poll has it 47-44 Cotton with 4 percent undecided and a 3 percent margin of error. Say again: Turnout.