Thursday, July 07, 2011

Council candidates ardently welcome conservative business group's endorsements

During a chat with Megan Barry soon after her 2007 election over coffee, she told me that a star-chamber-like panel of members of the Nashville Business Coalition had called candidates in one-by-one to grill them with litmus test questions about allowing unregulated LED advertisement signs in neighborhoods. I had not paid much attention to them, but I came away from our chat with the impression that NBC is the extremist wing of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, which itself is not exactly averse to opposing regulation of business.

Some of NBC's tests for local candidates include the latter's preferential option for untrammeled business growth:

    • Support the growth of the local economy through jobs by…
      • Supporting the retention and creation of jobs as a community priority and driver of the economy
      • Understanding, appreciating, and supporting business and its industry sectors in the community as a driver of the economy and contributor to the community
      • Carefully considering the impact of mandates and/or regulations upon the business community with the goal of minimizing or eliminating their adverse effect upon business operation
    • Support community initiatives and processes that contribute to a pro-business environment by…
      • Understanding that Nashville’s public education system must have the resources for student achievement and success in the 21st-century workplace
      • Understanding the role of higher education in attracting and retaining students and future workers
      • Understanding the connection of economic development with land use policy and codes and zoning regulations in order to support the growth of a physical environment in which business can prosper

    Instead of supporting balance and regulation of business in the name of protecting the public welfare or defending consumers who cannot as individuals muster the same wealth as businesses to guard their interests, NBC lobbies and donates to these candidates based on a business-centric agenda. Schools, zoning, government, indeed Nashville itself, exist to cater to business. To me that's putting the cart before the horse.

    NBC came out with its endorsements for 2011, and the more disheartening thing to me is that candidates are embracing and thanking NBC rather than distancing themselves. At-Large candidate Renard Francois is honored to receive NBC endorsement. District candidate Sarah Lodge Tally is likewise beholden to NBC. District candidate Josh Stites also responded enthusiastically to NBC's support. These kind of embraces do not seem to bode well for those of us concerned that business decisions always enjoy the benefit of the doubt and the perq of higher priority.

    These candidates and all of the rest endorsed will likely be receiving NBC campaign financing, which will further skew an unlevel playing field and increase these leaders' obligation to the special interest group even more.


    1. The O'Jay's sang it best:

      For the love of money
      People will steal from their mother

      For the love of money
      People will rob their own brother

      For the love of money
      People can't even walk the streets
      Because they'll never know who in the world they're gonna beat
      For that mean, oh mean, mean green

      From: For the Love of Money

      (I can see Ronnie Steine and Megan Barry dancing to this together. SCARY!)

    2. NBC- Rubber stamps for King Karl.

      My crystal ball sees Megan Barry dreaming of running for Vice-Mayor in 2015 if Nashville is dumb enough to re-elect her in 2011.

      Nashville wake up. Don't do it!

    3. Megan Barry has lost her compass.

      She's become infatuated with her "position."

      Megan, you are just a council person, in a big town, but you are acting like Michelle Bachman.

      Get over yourself.

      And get back to KNOWING your city.

      You will NEVER be president of the United States of America.

      So start showing some humility.

    4. I'd like to know how much money Megan Barry has accepted from this group (if any).

      Hopefully, none.

      She and her husband have always presented themselves as staunch Democrats.

      I trust that as a political couple, they are staying true to their roots.