It’s almost a ritual in every political campaign for the parties to seek the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce. Even if you are a Democrat and do not have a snow-ball’s chance of getting the nod from the big money business guys, you play the game and ask for their endorsement. So I have to say I am impressed with Tom Holland, the Democratic Party candidate for Kansas Governor. He told the Chamber to go piss up a rope.
Of course, Holland got a big bump in the news cycle for dumping on the Chamber, proof, perhaps, that he is going to be more than a handful for the popular and well-funded Christofacist Sam Brownback, who is running for the GOOP. Holland used the moment to tie Brownback to big business interests that have no interest in the average Kansan. The Chamber made this easy.
The Democratic candidate cited Chamber statements last year comparing people using government services… who include “the elderly, the vulnerable, school children and struggling families” to “animals feeding at the government trough.”
He cited Chamber support for a bill that would have stopped enforcement of controls aimed at greenhouse gasses, a measure that was supported by the state utilities because it was seen as a better alternative to federal regulation. The primary reason for supporting the bill, Holland said, was politics, not the best interests of Kansas. It seems the disputed legislation was the brainchild of Tim Huelskamp, GOOP candidate for Congress, and the Chamber wanted to make him look good.
Finally, The Chamber opposed a, $8.2 billion transportation plan that Holland said would create jobs and attract new business to the state. The Chamber is putting tax cutting GOOP ideology over the best interests of the state, Holland said.
The best thing about Holland is he is he is running a bare knuckled campaign, probably the only way to fight a battle uphill. At the same time it is an object lesson in how Democrats should run. As Brady frequently points out, when Democrats run like GOOPers, they don’t win. More Harry Truman, less Tru Deeds.