The Chamber of Who Cares

Aynd RandAynd Rand 8 Comments


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?


Comments 8

  1. Mr. Murtaza cares.

    Scott Lewis – of Voice of San 10/7/10

    “Murtaza Baxamusa, the deputy director of the Center on Policy Initiatives, sent me a note just now that he and his organization have decided to endorse Proposition D.”

    Lewis quoted in full the letter. Here is an excerpt:
    “It may not come as a surprise to you that CPI has chosen to endorse Proposition D. It may actually surprise you that we took this long. To get to this point, it took us a little introspection on the role that we play in educating our working families regarding the future of our city. It is not an easy decision to make, to ask our hard working families to pay more for city services.”

    “So there were two facts that drove us to support Prop D. First, that there is a legitimate revenue problem in the city of San Diego, that has been verified by objective indicators, and reasonable people. Second, that there is a broad coalition of major city players that have come to the table in an unprecedented manner to solve long-term problems of the city.

    This is so astounding to see this in this city, where elsewhere, leadership fails to look beyond the current crisis. The only stragglers it appears are those who have an ideologically-driven intent to diminish the role of democratically empowered and funded governance.

    Hence we are willing to make the sacrifice, to keep us America’s Finest, even if it costs 30 cents more a day.”


  2. From Voice….

    “Meantime, opponents of Prop. D took a preemptive strike against the chamber yesterday, with a rally featuring 11 business organizations against the measure, including the local restaurant association and new car dealers’ organization. In the release announcing the rally, opponents called the chamber “politically compromised.” Right-wing blog SDRostra.Com weighed in Wednesday calling the chamber, ‘The Chamber of Who Cares.'”

  3. Murtaza Baxamusa lives in fantasy land and thinks money grows on trees. Generally when I see him or his group advocating for something I run the other way. This case is no exception, except I’ll be running a little faster.

    As for the Chamber, I’m deeply disappointed but not really surprised. You could see the wheels being greased over the course of the past few weeks. And keep in mind, the Chamber vote was far from unanimous. Then again, over the past few years the Chamber has become less and less effective, and rarely looks beyond the interests of the downtown echo-chamber. Or as Aynd Rand makes perfectly clear regarding the Chamber, who cares?

  4. Murtaza Baxamusa is a labor SHILL and everybody in the City knows it. They pay, he say, that simple. The guy is a joke.

  5. Post

    Murtaza and his union backed group just showed their priorities:
    1. Labor
    2. Labor
    3. Labor
    4. Maybe the working families they claim to support, unless their interests are against Labor. .30 a day x 365 days is over a $110.00 a year per family member. Working families with limited incomes feel that much more than Murtaxa or even me. He lives in La Jolla though (true), so he probably doesn’t understand…or care.

  6. Gwendolyn is everywhere around here. You’d think she would spend more time in her current, albeit temporary, job with YES on D.

  7. Bill, although we do know that “Gwendolyn” is a pseudo-name, she and Ms. Laing are not one in the same. Ve haf are vays of knowing such things. To be fair to Rachel, when she has posted here she has used her name. FYI and for the record.

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