Editorial: Here are two local groups that consistently oppose capitalism and fight against small business interests.

Now, they’re OK with the left-wing Democratic push to let Obama take over 1/6 of the national economy.

What does the Olathe Chamber of Commerce mean by it’s motto:  “One Vision. One Voice”?

Year after year, more Johnson Countians of all backgrounds — conservatives, libertarians, small business owners, parents of K-12 students, people struggling to pay their taxes — wonder, what purpose do groups like the Olathe Chamber of Commerce serve?  They say they’re “pro-business.” But are they?

These groups can always be counted on to oppose the ownership of private property, constantly ask for more taxes, oppose the ability for lower- and middle-class parents to choose where to send their children to school, oppose second amendment rights, and support waste and corruption in local government.  It is difficult to find a tax these groups don’t like, and it is difficult to find a part of the US Constitution that they do like.

Even their names are contradictory — “chambers of commerce.”  These groups fight passionately against capitalism — the vehicle that makes commerce possible.

More after the fold.

Revisiting the Olathe Chamber’s motto:  “One Vision” and “One Voice.”  It’s quite telling.  Call it what you want:  socialism, marxism, communism, fascism, or corporatism.  The mission is simple:  less freedom, more government control.  It’s exactly the kind of “unity” seen in Cuba and the former Soviet Union, where citizens lose the freedom to have a unique “vision” and “voice.”  That’s not want Johnson Countians want.

Indeed, Johnson County voters are overwhelmingly NOT liberal.  Almost 50% are registered as Republicans, with another 25% or so registered as unaffiliated voters.  According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll:

“87% of Republican voters around the country oppose the current legislation. That figure includes 74% who are Strongly Opposed. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 55% oppose the legislation including 47% who Strongly Oppose it.”

Rasmussen found that 53% of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare, and only 43% are supportive.

It should not surprise Johnson County residents that the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce refuse to take a position on one of the most dangerous legislative efforts in American history, something being pushed by the far-left base of the Democratic Party.  If Democrats get what they want with the “public option” of President Barack Obama’s health agenda, virtually the entire health care system, which represents a full one-sixth of the US economy, will be overtaken by the federal government.

For readers in doubt about the “public option,” consider the the “public option” in education in the Kansas City, Missouri, School District, “Where Achievement is Standard:

  • -Few want to teach.
  • -Few consumers want to choose the product.
  • -Residents are taxed too much to have enough money left over to purchase private education.  They are virtually forced to choose the government’s “option.”
  • -Quality has eroded.
  • -Costs have exploded:  “public” education in Greater Kansas City now costs two to three times as much as private education.  Area schools (in Kansas and Missouri) all receive in the range of $11,000 to $14,000 per student.
  • -And if you hear it from Government education, everything is fantastic.  This is problem universal to any government, anywhere, and it will occur with ObamaCare, where there will be little to no competition-based incentive for government to admit faults or improve quality.

What is seen in the KCMO School District can be expected to occur to the US medical system under the “public option” of ObamaCare.  After a few decades, there will only one “option” for most Americans:  government.  Doctors will not get paid what they are worth, and the best students won’t want to become doctors, anymore.  Most citizens will not be able to afford any other private option for medical care.  At least with K-12 education, government “allows” its citizens to pick up everything they own, sell their house, and move a few miles into the next school district.  But with medical care under the “public option,” there will be no “the next district over.”  There will be no choice.

We called both the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, to ask for their opinions on ObamaCare, which is supported by 3rd District Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore, a liberal Democrat who pretends to be a “Blue Dog conservative Democrat.”  Given that these two chambers commonly take positions on local and state political matters, and given that the state-wide Kansas Chamber of Commerce vocally opposes ObamaCare, it seems reasonable to ask whether these local chambers are taking a position on the legislation.

It turns out that neither chamber of commerce is willing to take a position.

Below, we’ll provide additional notes surrounding the refusal by each of these groups to oppose this very anti-business legislation being pushed by the most liberal members of the Democratic party.

The Overland Park Chamber:  In terms of communication, this was the much more reasonable of the two groups.  It was disappointing that the first person to answer the phone was unaware of the chamber’s position on ObamaCare.  This is, after all, an enormously common topic being discussedy by residents, and it will most certainly affect the economy of Overland Park.  Within a short amount of time after calling the OP Chamber, we were speaking with the person who was prepared to address the question, and he indicated that he was personally terrified of the legislation.  In terms of why the OP Chamber did not currently have a position, he alluded to the time-consuming manner by which the board of the chamber must approve its positions on legislative matters.  Though, it should be said that this is not new legislation:  the virtually-identical HillaryCare was being discussed 15 years ago.

Notes on the OP Chamber Board of Directors:

The chair is Suze Parker (below), of Parker Communications Group.

The board vice-chairman is Dr. Bob Clark (below) of the University of Kansas, Edwards Campus.  Along with all of KU, Dr. Clark’s campus is currently violating state law through its weapons policy.  State law clearly allows law-abiding Kansans to carry firearms in their cars, but KU apparently believes it is above the law, and has an illegal (and unenforceable) policy which prohibits all visitors, students, and employees, from keeping weapons in their cars.  Also, the First-Amendment group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education gives KU a “red light” for free speech, which means that KU “has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

The Overland Park Chamber Board includes executives from some of the nation’s largest companies:

The Olathe Chamber of Commerce:  Boy, these guys did not want to answer this question.  Our first call went unanswered for a week.  When we finally got through to somebody, we were told that even the chamber’s political director did not know the chamber’s position on ObamaCare, and that she needed to call Olathe Chamber President Frank Taylor (below), a well-known Olathe liberal.

We were called back promptly, and we were told that the chamber had not yet taken a position, and that the board of the Olathe Chamber would need to approve such a position.  But that may not be true:  another chamber employee with whom we spoke told us that President Frank Taylor alone sets the Olathe Chamber’s legislative agenda.

Notes on the Olathe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors:

The board’s chair is Kevin Gilmore (below, left), who is a vice president at Mid-America Nazarene University.  Gilmore is also a board member at Olathe’s government schools.  MNU President Dr. Ed Robinson (below, right) is on the Olathe Chamber’s “Council of Advisors.”  Robinson also offers a glowing endorsement of the Olathe Chamber on the chamber’s “member testimonials” page.

Board chair-elect Steve Fleischaker works for Bank of Blue Valley, which was Kansas City’s first recipient of federal bailout funds.  The bank’s president Bob Regnier is a liberal political activist and supporter of ACLU-like causes in the Kansas City area.  During the elections of 2008, one of the groups that Regnier financially supported labeled both former Congressman Jim Ryun and the Family Research Council as “racists.”  Regnier, who has asked for buildings to be named after his family name at both the University of Kansas and Johnson County Community College, attempted in 2006 to stop the JCCC Board from investigating his friend and former JCCC President Charles Carlsen, after the accusations of sexual harrassment by four women toward Carlsen led Carlsen to abruptly resign from the college.

One of the Olathe Chamber’s directors works for area hospital Olathe Medical Center.  Another works for Garmin International.

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