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When is a “business” Chamber NOT a “business” Chamber?

May 27, 2016

I really hate doing this but it’s something that needs to be exposed and discussed.  In 2014 when I ran for the first time for State Representative in House District 25, which includes Keizer, St. Paul and Newberg, I went to endorsement forums in many places.  One of them was the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce in Newberg.  I was very surprised at the “anti-business” tact they took with me, but not surprised that they wouldn’t endorse me, I was the “new guy” and I get it.

Then over the course of the 2 sessions I was involved in at the Oregon Legislature, I gave this group’s board regular reports on bills that would greatly affect businesses in their area.  In 2016 I was awarded a 100% rating by the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce for my pro-business vote in the 2015/16 sessions.  I also received an A+ from the National Federation of Independent Businesses for the same reason.  I’d consider then that I am a solid “pro-business” legislator and candidate.

Here is my rating by the Oregon State Chamber:

OSCC score

So, I went again to the Chehalem Chamber and sought their endorsement.  Once again, I was treated very unkindly and it was evident from the start of the interview that I just am not their “guy”.  Needless to say, I did not get their endorsement.  By the way, neither did Ron Noble, the Republican candidate for neighboring House District 24.  In both districts the Democratic candidate received the endorsements of this group.  Now I am not one to be greatly concerned with this situation except for a couple of facts.

The chamber, in their own mission statement say they are “pro business”….look here:

CC mission

In their “endorsement” they state that both Democratic candidates are “pro business” as you can see here:

2016 District 24 25 Endorsements

1 – Both of the Democratic candidates are in favor of IP28 (read more about IP28 HERE)

2 – Both of the Democratic candidates were in favor of recent legislation to increase the minimum wage and the paid sick leave law.  Both laws were denounced by the National and State chambers.

3 – In House District 25, the Democratic candidate just happens to be a board member of the Chahalem Valley Chamber!  Does that smell fishy to you as well?

Here is the board with my opponent pictured:

CC board

So, I am not asking for sympathy, it’s a free country and you can endorse whom you like, but I am greatly concerned that the businesses of Newberg and McMinnville are NOT being served by this group and that the business community should immediately contact the board members above, investigate and ask questions of the board of the chamber.  I am the most ardent supporter and defender of business, especially small business in this area and I want YOU the businesses of Newberg to know that I will continue to stand up for you against big government.

Please feel free to contact me at 503-986-1425 or repbill@billpost.us

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