Big Business to Daley: We Want a Piece of the Action Too!
By Kevin Robinson in News on Nov 10, 2006 4:38PM
The Chicago Tribune is reporting today on plans by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to transform itself into a piece of the machine. Citing recent developments in the city council, such as the passage of the Big Box Ordinance, the Chamber wants to make sure that its interests aren't threatented. By taking down Aldermen that work against their interests.
The most shocking part of the plan isn't that business feels it needs to protect its interests. There's nothing new about that. But what worries us is the thought of employers asking their employees to "campaign on the street, you know, the old style of campaigning in Chicago," an idea put forth by Chamber President Jerry Roper. Joe Moore, 49th Ward Alderman, in particular finds this repugnant, telling Chicagoist "they’ve made it clear that they want to do what they can to restore one-stop-shopping and one-man rule. It’s clear what their agenda is: to stifle an independent voice in the council for working families".
Chicagoist worries that this signals a new era of business holding the city in its grip. While we aren't anti-business (we like our iPods, Levis, and shopping at Target as much as anyone else), we're a bit disturbed by not only the tactics that the Chamber is considering, but also the attitude. While it's one thing for a local business to be worried about how they are going to pay the employees or compete with someone else down the block, it's altogether something different when big business masquarades as one of the locals to push a political agenda. And while yes, business people have a right to do political work, isn't coercing someone to campaign for someone else why Patrick Fitzgerald is in town in the first place?