They Aren’t Us

Barb Fulgham is incensed. And she is not alone.

Barb was attempting to relax and watch a little television when her peace was invaded by the new political ad from the US Chamber of Commerce. You have probably seen the advertisement. It attacks Sherrod Brown (D-OH) with the usual litany of half truths and propaganda. The ad was slick, well produced, and totally frustrating to anyone but the most ardent of partisans.

My two blogs, Health Insurance Issues With Dave and Again? Really? have not been bashful about taking Senator Brown to task for some of his positions. My expectations may have been too high. But this new ad, this despicable trash polluting our airwaves, doesn’t move the country forward. Is sheds no light.

So let me state this as clearly as possible: They Aren’t Us. Your local Chamber of Commerce has nothing to do with the US Chamber of Commerce. Whether you live in Rocky River or Beachwood, Mentor or Solon, your local Chamber of Commerce consists of a lot of local businesses, small businesses, who want to help their communities. They are apolitical. Yes, individual chambers get co-opted now and then to back a local tax or school levy, but these organizations are first and foremost designed to promote their home town.

Your local chamber is not waging a war with Senator Brown. Your local chamber neither supports nor opposes Governor Kasich. Chamber boards spend their time discussing pancake breakfasts and business shows. They are not raising money to run commercials for or against anyone.

This is not a new issue. One of the dirtiest campaigns ever foisted on the voters of Ohio was run by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce in 2000 against Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick. We still don’t know where the Ohio C of C got all of the money to run its hateful ads. We just know that it didn’t come from local chambers of commerce. I was going to quit my local chamber until I verified that my dues weren’t financing the anti-Resnick campaign.

We are less than a year away from the 2012 election. The political advertisements will be everywhere – television, radio and print. The truth, the whole truth, may be nowhere. Ask yourself who is paying for these ads, and why.

But please remember: They aren’t us.