ACRA in bed with corrupt organization |

ACRA in bed with corrupt organization

Dear Editor:

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association has decided to remain part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce based on a survey that produced a dangerously small sampling of opinions, a return rate of 11 percent. Several local chamber members think that it will be easier to change the bigger organization from within. Good luck! I disagree.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a farce. It was established as a collective organization dedicated to the many local chambers it serves, Aspen one of them. Its intended goals were to offer its members help and service in business education, sales and marketing support, new business solicitation and business customer retention.

Instead, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is better known for pursuing the conservative agenda. The negative campaign ads of the 2008 federal election is one example. Becoming a funnel for the oil and gas industry is another. Sixteen anonymous donors fund 55 percent of its annual budget. Why do they refuse to reveal those donors? Shouldn’t the U.S. Chamber of Commerce be accountable for identifying the people who support it?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is clearly trying to walk the tightrope between being a chamber of commerce and a funding mechanism for right-wing pursuits. Those are two different agendas and they are mutually exclusive. While they admit that greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, they continue to support the “juicers” – coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear and hydropower.

It is a pipe dream to believe that this corruption can be changed from the inside. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is successfully double dipping and collecting money from both sides of environmental issues. It has no reason to change and will disregard individual voices in the current system. The only way to get its attention and make our voices heard is to cut it off, and to encourage the chambers of commerce across the country to do the same, immediately.

Look to the Aspen Chapter of the Komen Foundation for direction in standing up to a national organization for positive and moral change. As we witnessed by their action, now is the time to cut the ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Kevin Owen


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