KS-Gov.: Tom Holland writes a letter

I just got a copy of this letter, sent by Tom Holland, the Democratic candidate for Kansas Governor, to the Kansas Chamber of Commerce:

Members of Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Board,

Thank you for contacting my campaign regarding your endorsement process for Kansas Governor. Out of respect for your organization?s time, I wanted to inform you that I am not seeking, nor would I accept, an endorsement from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

I firmly believe that the Chamber?s rhetoric during this past legislative session was unbecoming of any organization whose mission is supposedly focused on enhancing the economic well-being of our
Great State. Specifically, when you likened those receiving state services to animals feeding ?at the government trough?, the Chamber insulted the elderly, the vulnerable, school children and struggling Kansas families.

Furthermore, as a business owner, I was disappointed to see the Chamber support an amendment opposed by some of your key members ?
Westar Energy, Kansas City Power & Light and Sunflower Electric Cooperative. Your decision to provide political cover to a congressional candidate, rather than support the interests of your members, could have created serious federal regulatory repercussions for Kansas businesses.

Finally, the Chamber?s opposition to a new Comprehensive Transportation Plan, which will create and protect tens of thousands of jobs, is inexplicable given the Chamber?s supposed focus on creating jobs. Just this week I was proud to attend an event celebrating the economic development benefits of our transportation plans. That event was hosted by American Eagle Outfitters, a Chamber member. This illustrates the disconnect between your priorities and those of the organizations you claim to represent.

The priorities and actions of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce have become highly partisan and detrimental to the development of our state?s economy. As the next Governor of Kansas, I look forward to the day when I can work with a state chamber organization that constructively engages all stakeholders and works to foster real economic development in

Tom Holland
Candidate for Governor

Sam Brownback ultimately got the nomination. KS CoC will pour money into Brownback’s coffers, so the only responsible thing for everyone else to do is give money to Tom Holland.


  1. #1 Ribi
    September 10, 2010

    “Everyone else?” Maybe things look brighter from Douglas County, but we’re drowning in Murdoch-programmed dog-whistlers (Tea partiers) everywhere else. The polling is looking bad. http://tinyurl.com/kspoll2010

    I hold very little hope for the 2010 election. Barring a game-changing event, something that creates some real backlash against this new reactionary strand of conservatism, we’re almost certain to wind up with a perfect storm of reactionary governance here in Kansas. With Brownback at the helm and hyperconservative luminaries such as Kris Kobach filing into many major positions, it’s going to be abnormally difficult for progressives to find traction for anything during the next two years.

    It’s a damn shame; those two years will be long enough for them to do some damage, but probably not long enough for the public to realize they’ve been short-changed, and by whom. It’s win-win for the Right; if conditions improve, it’s because of bold new conservative leadership; if conditions degenerate, it’s the evil socialist commies in Washington holding us down.

    There’s one bright spot; the conservatives feel quite invigorated in this atmosphere, and they’re going to be more open to running large (risky) ventures than usual. I think that we need to maintain a really high level of vigilance over the coming years, note every misdeed, and howl about it from every soapbox we can find. When (not if) Kobach starts draining treasury funds to defend a clone of his Arizona immigration bill, or if he starts trying to serve up justice a la Arpaio, we need to be out there being heard. If and when attacks come down the pipe on the usual suspects (educational funding and curriculum, civil rights rollbacks, regressive taxation), we need to stay in the conversation. We may not stop them outright, but at the very least, we can be ready to say “told you so” when it all comes crashing down. This wave of conservatives will eventually get greedy and give “everyone else” a chance to fight back against obvious abuse.

  2. #2 SF Hiking
    September 13, 2010

    Wow, very well-written and eloquently stated letter. Strong words too…good read! Never knew chamber of commerce was so looked down upon by some people.

  3. #3 Marion Delgado
    September 14, 2010

    Nationally, and in some right-wing states like Kansas, they’re the chambers of monopolistic right-wing commerce and try to act as sheepdogs

New comments have been disabled.