If you hadn't pegged the Chamber of Commerce as a special interest clique yet, you will now that the primary for Illinois's 18th congressional district has commenced. The group sent out surveys to candidates in the race, including grassroot favorite Mike Flynn, who reportedly responded by blowing their preference for Obamatrade out of the water in his reply. The Chamber, in an effort to defend their chosen candidate, Darin LaHood, son of Obama's former Transportation Secretary, smeared Flynn with the debunked claim that he "actively sought" their endorsement after he criticized LaHood for special interest support during a candidate forum. (Yes -- bizarrely the Chamber of Commerce admitted it was a special interest in an effort to attack a legitimately grassroots conservative candidate.) I presented an alternate reality to two of the most vocal members online and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce lobbyist attacked the source and Flynn. The story:
At Thursday’s debate, moderator Ian Bayne brought up the Trade Promotion Authority bill and the TransPacific Partnership bill (together known as “Obamatrade“), an Obama administration-crafted push which had cleared a key hurdle last week in Congress due primarily to the support of GOP leadership in both the House and Senate. The bill has received tyrannical support from John Boehner, to the hair-raising extent that Boehner followed through on threats to remove House Republicans from their committee assignments if they dared oppose it.
The bill has also been rabidly supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Said the Chamber in a press release:
TPA is the Chamber’s top trade priority before the Congress.
If unfamiliar, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the beating-heart target of conservative anger at GOP leadership’s fostering of “crony capitalism.” The Chamber is the muscle behind GOP leadership’s push for amnesty, which, for the Chamber’s purposes, would increase the supply of cheap labor, thus benefitting many of the largest GOP leadership corporate donors at the expense of the U.S. citizen worker.
At the debate, when moderator Ian Bayne raised the issue of this bill dubbed “Obamatrade,” LaHood answered that he would not have supported the bill.
Remember: the Chamber says that Obamatrade is its “top trade priority before the Congress.”
So when Darin LaHood said at the debate that he would not have supported Obamatrade, Flynn responded with a zinger:
"I hope you told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that when you accepted their endorsement yesterday."
Folks, shortly after LaHood gave a questionable answer claiming he would have opposed the Chamber’s top priority, Obamatrade, a VP from the Chamber of Commerce weighed in with a prepared comment for a local paper.
You might expect that the Chamber’s PR-crafted comment would show concern that LaHood, you know, just rejected their number one priority.
It didn’t. Instead, it smeared Mike Flynn with an easily falsifiable lie intended to hurt his candidacy.
I emailed Flynn on Sunday morning about Engstrom’s claim that Flynn “actively sought the Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement on May 18.” Responded Flynn:
"They sent me a survey. I filled it out. The survey asked questions about my opinions on the trade bill and on the Export-Import Bank. Two of their top concerns. I told them in the survey that I oppose both."
Earlier today I asked Flynn on my radio program about the Chamber's claim that he "actively sought" their endorsement. Flynn said no. They sent him a form and on that form he blasted their top concerns knowing full well it wouldn't secure any endorsment. This is simple to settle: If Mike Flynn "actively sought" the Chamber's endorsement as they claim, his survey wouldn't have blasted their special interest concerns. All the Chamber has to do is release the candidate surveys showing that this is the case. Additionally, don't you think voters have the right to know how the Chamber came to its decision? If this group, which supports amnesty and Obamatrade, chose to endorse a candidate that is more closely aligned with their goals, don't voters have the right to see the candidates's survey answers which guided the Chamber regarding their decision?
I had hoped the Chamber of Commerce would be as forthcoming as Flynn. I was wrong. Here is some of the discussion:
Rob Engstrom, according to his Twitter bio, is the U.S. Chamber National Political Director:
I simply responded to their claims with this piece.
Hoffman was asked for whom he worked; he responded for the Ilinois Chamber of Commerce, which he deleted later that night.
Hoffman began RTing progressive puppet accounts to smear Flynn. When this was pointed out to him he deleted it (along with this original Tweet):
Today Hoffman blocked me.
I'm not sure why, I've been polite and courteous even as he insulted the work of others. I and many others asked for him to simply release the Chamber of Commerce's candidate surveys for the IL18 race and after deflections insults, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce lobbyist blocked me. So far Engstrom has not, yet. Neither have either of them released the candidate surveys for the primary. I'm not sure why a simple query on the matter is met with such hostility. Oh, wait:
Hoffman reTweeted this after he blocked me. So are we to understand that LaHood is soft on amnesty, Obamatrade, and other practices of cronyism supported by the CoC? Is this why they refuse to release the candidate surveys -- because it exonerates Flynn of their claim and shows LaHood's true allegiance?