What's in a name? Sometimes more than Shakespeare attributed to it. Sometimes your reputation goes hand in hand with your name. This is also true of organizations. I am writing to clear the name of our local, state and other states' chambers of commerce.
Last fall, at election time, I began seeing television attack ads aimed at the Democratic Party's members and ideas paid for by something called the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As the representative from Milltown to the board of directors of the Crawford County Chamber of Commerce, I was shocked. The U.S. Chamber sounds like the parent organization of our state and county chambers. We are not politically affiliated but serve the entire public, promoting business and employment and our communities.
I called the "U.S. Chamber of Commerce" in Washington and learned that it has no affiliation with any state or local chambers and that it is not funded by our dues. (It merely seems to have co-opted our name to acquire a recognition and reputation it does not deserve.) It is not, as I recall one television news anchor saying, representing the views of millions of chamber members in America. The chamber of commerce in our and every other county or city in America is open to all political views and is not, and should not be, associated with the secretly funded political ad campaigns of the "U.S. Chamber of Commerce."
I invite you to join your local chamber of commerce without fear that your dues might contribute to malicious political attack ads. They certainly will not. I hope this clears our good name.
Mark Woods, Milltown Representative, Crawford County Chamber of Commerce
March 02, 2011