Thursday, May 22, 2008

U.S. Chamber to Take Armed Sides in Fall's Political Fray

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue plans to ramp up the political involvement of their business lobbying group. He hired ex-White House Homeland Security Adviser Frances Townsend as a senior adviser and consultant. The CEO told The Los Angeles Times, "I’m concerned about anti-corporate and populist rhetoric from candidates for the presidency, members of Congress and the media.” This translates into:

Corporations should pay ever decreasing tax rates, get regulatory and liability breaks, garner ever larger chunks of the federal government via privatization, and be allowed to finally jettison that pesky health insurance benefit.

That laundry list should help the Chamber in its efforts to constantly increase members' profits.

President Bill Clinton carved out part of the traditional Republican franchise with his entreaties to American businesses. Now numerous Democrats bear the privatization shield, wearing it proudly. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell just leased out the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 75 years to Citi Infrastructure and its two Spanish partners. Citi stands to gross $160 billion in tolls in exchange for a $12.8 billion upfront payment and a promised $5.5 billion in capital improvements.

Clearly the Chamber, under Fran's wise consultation, will identify the good and bad players amongst the Democratic and Republican candidates. Then they'll put their money to work, likely in a most dastardly way. Everybody put on your life jackets. The Swift Boats are coming.

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