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Reply #100: National Association of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce [View All]

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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-07-07 11:23 AM
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100. National Association of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce
Those were the names that caught my eye because I've been looking into them a bit lately. The historical facts are intriguing enough (such as Samuel Bush's role as first president of NAM), but more to the point is that those two groups (along with the Business Roundtable, a relative newcomer) are still at the center of most pro-business lobbying campaigns.

For example, all three, though particularly the Chamber of Commerce, have been pivotal in the push for CAFTA -- both through heavy lobbying in this country and through CoC's overseas affiliates, like AMCHAM in Costa Rica, where voting on CAFTA is taking place today.

See, for example, the Business Roundtable press release about an earlier CAFTA vote headed "Business Community to Outline 'Full Court Press' at May 25 Event" at
http://trade.businessroundtable.org/news/major_push.htm... .

Or this Washington Post story:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

It's hard to imagine two issues of less interest to most voters than free trade with Central America and a cut in the tax on dividends paid to the owners of stock.

Yet the latest in lobbyists' wiles -- a grand elaboration on Internet advertising -- managed to rope hundreds of thousands of average Americans into the congressional debate on both matters and was instrumental in passing the measures into law.

The until-now unheralded trick-of-trade was bankrolled by the Business Roundtable -- an organization of chief executives from 160 large companies -- and was executed by Alexandria-based Democracy Data & Communications LLC and its OnPoint Advocacy affiliate. It worked so well that the Roundtable is experimenting with it as a way to revive President Bush's foundering effort to make private accounts part of Social Security.

"It's the future of lobbying," said John J. Castellani, president of the Roundtable.

These are the two wings that work together. The intellectual apparatus detailed in the OP provides the arguments for free markets and laissez-faire capitalism. The business interests then provide the funding and lobbying to translate those arguments into real-world initiatives, like CAFTA. or social security privatization.

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