The Chamber of Commerce plans to meet on Thursday to determine whether they will support or oppose the sales tax increase. One moment I think that as a Chamber of Commerce, it’s only logical they vote against Proposition D with its damaging impacts to business and consumers. Three different subcommittees of the Chamber did recommend they oppose Prop D.
Then the next moment I think they won’t go against Jerry Sanders, Vince Mudd and other key members of the board.
Finally it hit me: WHO CARES?
The Chamber is known in many circles by a couple of names including: The Chamber of Compromise, and the Chamber of Incompetence. It’s very likely the Chamber Board will earn another name tomorrow: The Chamber of Inconsequence.
I remember the days when the group was a powerful voice that protected its members and consumers against the avarice and greed of government officials and labor unions. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the organization lost its way and become a hollow shell of its former self. Current leadership is more concerned about being perceived as having a seat at the decision-making table rather than taking positions and fighting to protect their members’ interest. As a result, they blindly follow the wishes of the current Mayor and whatever is asked of them. It gives the impression of thought leadership and meaningful influence when really it’s a sign of impotence and insignificance.
At this point, the organization is the equivalent of a sock puppet that only speaks when the firm hand of their master (Kris Michel per VOSD?) permits them too. Remember the role they played in the early going on the sales tax? In the three weeks the Mayor took no official position on the Sales Tax, Chamber leaders would speak through both sides of their mouths as though they were against the sales tax, yet urged Council members to keep going in crafting a tax hike. One thing all sides of the debate could agree on was that the Chamber was totally ineffective and useless.
After Jerry came out to support a sales tax, the Chamber leadership moved towards supporting the measure. Only a backbencher’s revolt of clear thinking members has forced leadership to delay supporting D by several weeks. The reason for the delay is simple, what is in the interest of the Chamber’s members is opposite of what the Mayor wants. This is an admittedly inconvenient truth for Chamber leaders accustomed to taking orders from the Mayor. Therefore, they’ve needed time to add additional lipstick to the Prop D pig to try and sell it to the rank and file.
One hopes that the Board, many of whom are not actual business owners but people with vested political interests with the city, considers the well-being of its members first and foremost when voting on D.
I, for one, will not be holding my breath. I hold little hope for this vote or beyond that the Chamber of Irrelevance will represent the interests of businesses large and small that do not feed at the government trough. My prediction is that they fall into line and do as they are told.
But then again, who cares?