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LV Chamber Sowing Seeds of Its Members’ Own Destruction

Several years ago, to a “Perspective 2008” audience in Las Vegas, Somer Hollingsworth of the Nevada Development Authority observed: “Government has one business: That’s to beat the crap out of you.”

It was true back then, and remains true today.

And while there are certainly business organizations and associations out there that do darned good work on behalf of Nevada’s businesses, the state’s largest such advocate has a track record and reputation for going-along-to-get-along and cutting deals so that the government only beats half the crap out of you.

Feel better?

Now, I don’t want to name any names (the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce), but this particular business organization endorsed 16 legislative candidates in the June 12 primary elections. And only ONE of those candidates (Assemblyman Pete Livermore of Carson City) voted against last year’s re-imposition of that $620 million worth of tax hikes that primarily hit Nevada’s businesses (license fees and payroll tax) and/or signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising not to extend those business taxes again next year.

Now, I hate to keep picking on the Chamber (not really), but consider just one of their primary endorsements: Democrat Heidi Swank – a liberal university professor at UNLV who is running for Assembly District 16 because, according to her campaign website, she wants to “find more effective ways” to dump more money into the K-12 and higher education systems.

In other words: Raise taxes to prop up a failing government monopoly (while feathering her own nest).

Meanwhile, organized labor is circulating a petition to create a new corporate income tax in the state; what they’re calling a “margins tax.” And with that in mind, now take a look at the list of endorsements that appear on Ms. Swank’s campaign website, in addition to that of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce:

• AFSCME Local 4041
• IBEW Local 357
• Las Vegas Police Protective Association
• Laborers Union Local 169
• Nevada Conservation League
• Nevada Faculty Alliance
• Nevada NOW
• Nevada State Education Association
• Peace Officers Research Association of Nevada
• Professional Fire Fighters of Nevada
• Southern Nevada Building & Construction Trades Council
• Southern Nevada Central Labor Council
• Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters

Wow! I mean, that’s a liberal’s who’s-who the Chamber is siding with. Talk about sleeping with the enemy.

The only thing more insane than the Las Vegas Chamber endorsing Heidi Swank is Las Vegas businesses paying dues every year to the Chamber so the Chamber can continue to play “footsie” politics with opponents and cut their members’ own throats. Which is exactly why I chose not to renew my membership this year.

Perhaps other businesses getting the crap beat out of them should consider doing the same?