Archive for August 29th, 2009

Editorial — True to form, the Overland Park, Olathe Chambers of Commerce are OK with new federal grab of one-sixth of national economy

Saturday, August 29th, 2009 will have more this weekend on this news.  For now, here is a summary provided by Benjamin Hodge at

In what will likely come as a surprise to many small business owners in Johnson County, the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and the Olathe Chamber of Commerce refuse to take a position on ObamaCare.  The almost-entirely Democratic legislation, in its current form, will functionally result in the federal take-over of health care, which represents one-sixth of the national economy.

The two local chambers of commerce frequently take positions on local and state issues, but their views frequently are at odds with those of elected Republicans.  The decision to not take positions on this federal legislation is consistent with the local chambers’ consistent opposition to capitalism.  While these groups sell themselves as pro-business groups, they oppose the private ownership of land, low taxes, and the rights of parents to decide where to educate their children with their own tax dollars.

The current chairman of the Olathe Chamber is Kevin Gilmore (below, right), who works for Mid-American Nazarene University.  Gilmore is also a board member at the Olathe government schools.  He claims to be conservative.Kevin GilmoreSuze Parker

The current chairwoman of the Overland Park Chamber is Suze Parker.

The local chambers, which rely heavily upon local government unions and administrators for support, are also often at odds with the state chamber of commerce, an organization that is known to consistently support actual business interests.  The Kansas Chamber of Commerce — the state-wide group that typically aligns with conservatives in the Kansas legislature — strongly opposes the Democratic agenda on health care in Washington, DC.

A recent Rasmussen survey found that Americans strongly oppose ObamaCare:  53% oppose it, and 43% support it.  More importantly to Johnson County — where 50% of voters are Republican, and another 25% unaffiliated, leaving only a quarter who register as Democrats — Rasmussen found that 87% of Republicans oppose ObamaCare, along with 55% of unaffiliated voters.

Hodge is a delegate to the Kansas GOP and a former state lawmaker.  You can join Hodge’s efforts on Facebook, through his personal Web site, on Twitter, and through his PAC.