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Archive for Friday, June 18, 2010

Gubernatorial candidate Holland tells Kansas Chamber of Commerce he’s not interested in their support

June 18, 2010

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland on Friday told the largest business organization in Kansas to take a hike.

“The priorities and actions of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce have become highly partisan and detrimental to the development of our state’s economy,” Holland wrote in a letter to the Chamber.

Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, said the Chamber’s rhetoric during the recently completed legislation session “was unbecoming of any organization whose mission is supposedly focused on enhancing the economic well-being of our Great State.”

He told the Chamber that he would not seek nor accept the group’s endorsement.

Chamber president Kent Beisner called Holland’s letter “unfortunate” and “political rhetoric.”

During the 2010 legislative session, the Chamber fought hard against tax increases as legislators dealt with an unprecedented drop in revenue.

When a coalition of Democrats, including Holland, and moderate Republicans approved the temporary 1-cent increase in the state sales tax, Beisner said those who supported the increase “catered to the needs of those at the government trough.”

Holland said that was an insult to the elderly, school children and struggling Kansas families depending on state funding.

Holland was also on the winning side in passage of an $8.2 billion, 10-year transportation plan, which the Chamber opposed, but many businesses supported.

And Holland blasted the chamber for issuing a news release that criticized Gov. Mark Parkinson when he vetoed a provision that would have prevented the state from spending money to enforce potential regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

That provision was written by Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, who is running for Congress. Parkinson, at the behest of the largest utilities in the state, vetoed the measure because he said it could have invited federal intervention of Kansas environmental regulation.

“Your decision to provide political cover to a congressional candidate, rather than support the interests of your members, could have created serious federal regulatory repercussions for Kansas businesses,” Holland said.

Beisner said the Chamber is opposed to any greenhouse gas rules, but that in hindsight, the Chamber probably shouldn’t have issued a news release critical of Parkinson’s veto.

But Beisner defended the Chamber’s legislative agenda, saying it was approved unanimously by its board.

Holland will likely face U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., in the Nov. 2 general election.

Comments

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 6 months ago

Well said, Senator Holland. The Chamber of Commerce has become a political arm of the extremist GOP.

sinedie 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm sure they were itching to endorse him before he wrote that letter.

Mr. Beisner is right - this was just an opportunity to slam the Chamber and score some political points. Of course Beisner's message would be more convincing if he didn't refer to people who use government services as "At the trough."

grammaddy 4 years, 6 months ago

This was in response to a letter they sent him offering their support.

Orwell 4 years, 6 months ago

No such thing. They wanted him to go through a sham "evaluation" process just so they could endorse Brownback with the phony appearance of having used a process.

The Chamber has become one of the most partisan interests in the state. They don't even advocate effectively for small business – they just a reactionary anti-tax posture that skews governmental policy in favor of the Kochs and their ilk.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 6 months ago

Uh, Mr. Holland gives very specific and compelling reasons he does not want the Chamber's support and where he thinks they have gone astray. This is not baseless attacking for political points.

Do you agree with the Chamber's actions in the areas Mr. Holland cites?

overthemoon 4 years, 6 months ago

ummm. This is a political campaign. Every statement made either scores or loses political points, other wise known as getting the message to voters. That's the point of the whole thing.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, if your supposition is that everything said by anyone running for political office is for political gain, then got me.

There is also using the truth for politics versus using lies, and Holland tells the truth in this case.

dontcallmedan 4 years, 6 months ago

Thank you, Tom. The Chamber Pot is flush with cash and willing to spend it only on their own self-interest.

parrothead8 4 years, 6 months ago

If they're saving money by being more environmentally friendly, is that a bad thing?

Jeff Plinsky 4 years, 6 months ago

defenestrator - yes, we can be absolutely sure of his motives. He's trying to get elected. He is doing that by trying to score political points, and peel moderate Republican voters away from Brownback. Tom has a pretty serious hill to climb if he is going to get elected, and getting GOP'ers to say things like "at the trough" in writing can only help him.

It also helps that he's right.

I don't know that I will vote for Holland, but I'm damn sure going to vote against Brownback.

parrothead8 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, whaddaya know? Something we agree on.

overthemoon 4 years, 6 months ago

Well that pretty much sums up the disaster our public discourse has become. Would that we could say 'I don't agree with you but you have my respect' instead of 'you're wrong and I don't like you'.

overthemoon 4 years, 6 months ago

"likely face Brownback"?

They are the two candidates, is there some possibility that his opponent will NOT be Brownback?

wastewatcher 4 years, 6 months ago

Holland is a tax and spend LIBERAL. Watch and see who endorses him. Sierra club. Liberals United. Abortions on Demand. Tax You and Give It To Me, Obama Lovers, and every ulta LIBERAL group in the world. He is an ok person , just way to LIBERAL for Kansas.

thatonedude 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm going to start a club soccer team, and call it "Liberals United".

kansanjayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Hollands voting record on taxes and spending is a big ZERO O. Not only should he not be our governor he needs to be removed at the next election from his Senate seat. He does not represent those of us who believe in limited government and fiscal accountability. He is a liberal Democrat out of touch with Kansas.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

The Chamber has done nothing for Kansas. They have given tax cut after tax cut to businesses and it was suppose to attract new business and create jobs. Where are the jobs, Chamber people? Kansas has one of the lowest business tax rates around, but I sure don't see businesses rolling in with new jobs. Try doing your job Chamber. Quit playing golf and do something.

tomatogrower 4 years, 6 months ago

The Chamber has done nothing for Kansas. They have pushed for tax cut after tax cut to businesses and it was suppose to attract new business and create jobs. Where are the jobs, Chamber people? Kansas has one of the lowest business tax rates around, but I sure don't see businesses rolling in with new jobs. Try doing your job Chamber. Quit playing golf and politics and do something.

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