Metro Chamber’s Williams Endorses Status Quo “Jobs” Ticket

Greg Bluestein and Katie Leslie bring the news that Sam Williams (and parsing his quote – he uses the words “We urge…” – apparently the Metro Chamber of Commerce) has endorsed both Nathan Deal and Kasim Reed for re-election.

We urge everyone here, we in the business community, that these two gentlemen deserve a second term because of all the great things they’ve accomplished in their first term together,” said Williams.

The move raised plenty of eyebrows. While the chamber’s members typically lean Republican, the organization doesn’t often weigh in on competitive races. One well-known exception is the chamber’s involvement in Atlanta Public School board’s elections in the 1990s.

The endorsement isn’t likely to make much of a difference to Reed, who faces no high-profile competition in his November re-election bid. But it could prove important for Deal, who already faces a challenge from Dalton Mayor David Pennington and a possible push by Superintendent John Barge.

Normally, it’s not terribly big news that Chamber members endorse incumbents which they have enjoyed a productive working relationship with.  But looking at the last paragraph quoted above, perhaps a bit of amplification is in order.

Dalton Mayor David Pennington is running against Deal on a platform that the economy isn’t working in Georgia, and that we can and should be doing better.  The Metro-Chamber – covering the business community for a bit more than half the state’s population – seems to think otherwise.

And after getting Reed safely past his non-event of a re-election, the Metro-Chamber can and will likely use the Deal-Reed alliance to highlight the logistics corridor that stretches from Atlanta’s airport, down I-75 and I-16, and to the Port of Savannah which will likely be being dredged at that time – largely on the federal taxpayers dime.  Credit, of course, will be shared between these two, but Deal will be the beneficiary of the “jobs” mantra in that corridor, picking up support of another large swath of Georgia’s population.

Dalton, home to a carpet and textile industry that has yet to recover from the 2008 crash, certainly has a case to be made that unemployment is stubbornly high.  But as the 2014 election moves into high gear, those from that part of the state may find it a lonely place to be as they look for those willing to help them make that case .

11 comments

  1. Baker says:

    tax credits and subsidies, guys they can “work with”, what’s not to like?

    See Victor Davis Hanson:

    “The aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown followed the same script. The crisis arose from a strange connivance between loans to the unqualified and huge profits for Wall Street. Its remedy was to have the lowly taxpayer pick up the walk-away debt of the former while offering bailouts for the latter.
    Polls show the president’s approval numbers are tanking. Congress can hardly become any more unpopular. Maybe one reason is that neither seems to care much about those who are not rich and not poor.
    America has plenty of community organizers and agitators, and even more smooth corporate lobbyists, but populist politicians disappeared long ago.”

    http://townhall.com/columnists/victordavishanson/2013/08/01/is-populism-dead-n1653271/page/full

  2. sockpuppet says:

    @Baker:

    I am sorry, but the idea that “loans to the unqualified” caused the 2008 financial collapse was spin designed to keep the GOP from having to re-evaluate its neo-con, 100% pro-big business (unless that business is Hollywood) stance. First off, no one even claimed that CRA loans caused the economic collapse until after the 2008 election (and Sean Hannity was the first to ply this angle, and everyone else on the right picked it up). If it were anywhere close to being true – or even plausible – this trope would have been trotted out before the election, as the economic collapse was the #1 reason why McCain lost in the first place. Second, the GOP beat this drum for 4 years – and provided absolutely no evidence for it – and the voters totally rejected it in 2012.

    Look. The mortgages that went bad was only a portion of the 2008 collapse. Of those, the “CRA loans to the unqualified” were only a tiny percentage of the loans. Those loans were also on the low end in terms of monetary value: … the less than $200,000 type deals to first time home buyers. So not only were there not that many of these “CRA loans to the unqualified” – a small fraction of the total loans – but when you consider that the loans were mostly for low cost homes, the financial hit from those loans was actually smaller – much smaller – than their numbers.

    I am sorry, but one has to have a certain “right wing echo chamber” mindset to even take seriously the idea that a few starter home mortgages can take down all these gigantic multi-national banks whose holdings exceed the entire GDP of some whole countries. Or to put it another way, if the “CRA loans to the unqualified” was able to send us into the worst recession since the great depression, why don’t major corporations going bankrupt have the same effect? There were lots of major bankruptcies from the late 90s until 2008, large companies in major sectors, starting with the dot.com bust and moving on to the fallout of the major financial and other corporate scandals (which the “CRA loans to the unqualified” crowd pretends never happened) followed by waves of massive corporate restructurings. Corporations worth tens and hundreds of billions going belly up and forcing their creditors to take pennies on the dollar didn’t take down the world’s biggest economy, but all those $150,000 “loans to the unqualified” first time home buyers got the job done, eh?

    Seriously, unless your side undergoes a major change in its way of thinking, you will lose the 2016 election too.

    • Baker says:

      …I’ll cover your points in a second but “let me be clear”, I wasn’t trying to re-open an argument about what caused the recession. My main point was to stress how politicians on both sides, on both the Federal and State levels, have pretty much totally abandoned the middle class. Either you’re a giant company that can bribe a politician with both lobby money & the threat of relocating whatever jobs you have, or you’re on the lower end and can be used as a nice little prop and voter fodder.

      …now onto your part: I certainly don’t think, and I don’t think Hanson does either, that the entire crisis was caused by bad mortgages. I do think, and breathlessly await your outrage, that the seed of the crisis was bad mortgages to the unqualified. In 2007, government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were the backers of a majority of mortgages. A majority, not just to the lower income folks. And bad mortgages went way beyond the lower income set. People that had no business buying million dollar homes were doing so.

      That was the seed. Not the whole cause. But out of the farce that was the U.S. mortgage system grew an endless array of financial “tools” that irresponsible corporations shifted around and were based on nothing. It was a giant shell game and for what it’s worth, I blame Goldman Sachs and CitiBank as much as any unqualified loans.

      As far as national elections go…I am extremely cynical. You may say it’s Republicans bad policies, I think it’s the “cool guy factor”.

      Presidential elections come down to 5-10% of voters in this state or that. 80-85-90 of voters are already decided before the candidates are even picked. Then you’ve got the others. And the others don’t know what they’re talking about. They jump on board towards the end and know very little about actual issues. And to that group, consciously or not, a big reason for them voting for guy over another is who is cooler.

      Barack Obama was way cooler than a billionaire Mormon and a crotchety old Navy dude. George Bush, despite what you may think of him, was way cooler than an elitist from Massachusetts. He was also cooler than a robot, with weird spatial issues http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAUcyfKESts, “from” Tennessee (he’s really from Washington). Clinton was obviously cooler than Dole and Bush I. Bush I was cooler than Dukakis. Reagan was cooler Mondale and Carter. Carter was cooler than a Nixon-pardoning Ford. The theory doesn’t exactly hold up, or can’t be applied the same way, during the Vietnam era. So let’s go back to 1960. Kennedy v Nixon? Come on. Ike v Adlai? The General from WWII versus a guy named Adlai? 1952? Same thing. 48? Roosevelt 5 in the first election after WWII? Then you have Roosevelt who was very cool and a brilliant speaker and politician.

      The theory pretty much ends pre-1932 because no one had a radio or television. Before that it was all newspapers which is a totally different animal.

      Chris Christie 2016! Hillary versus a tough-talking Jersey dude. I like our odds.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      CRA didn’t appear in Baker’s comment.

      And FWIW, I think the handling of the securitization of unqualified loans beyond unqualified loans themselves, was as much a contributing factor as the loans. There would have been fewer unqualified loans and low / no equity loans made had loan originators/securitizers been required to have retained a level of skin in the game and financial wherewithall. It’s my understanding an objective of Dodd-Frank was to require a minimum level of ownership of securities by the securitizer, though I don’t know if that has occurred.

      • notsplost says:

        Bingo.

        Without the fraudulent securitization machine invented by Wall Street, there is no way we could have had the kind of disaster we experienced in 2008. It was the “originate and sell, pocket the fees and offload the risk to some sucker in Europe” swindle plus excessive leverage that was at the heart of the crisis.

        And BTW, Dodd-Frank was to have required ‘skin in the game’ but Democrats and Republicans alike are doing their best to strangle it in the crib:

        http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/finance/316821-gop-chairman-dodd-frank-smothering-housing-market-

        • Dave Bearse says:

          The too big to fail bloodsuckers have resumed bloodsucking. Finance has returned to making the same out of proportion profits to the little value provided that was occurring before the recession, with risk yet largely on the taxpayers.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          From the NYT (highlighting the federal government is for sale to the 1%):

          The House Financial Services Committee has grown so large that a highly unusual fourth row of seats had to be installed in the committee room. Every term, scores of members, particularly freshmen, demand a seat on the panel — not because they have a burning interest in regulating banks and Wall Street, but because they know that they will be able raise much more money if one of the 61 seats has their name on it.

          As Eric Lipton recently explained in The Times, Financial Services has become known as “the cash committee” because interest groups donate more money to its members than to those of any other House committee. More than $10 million has been given to its members just this year, and most of it has come from the big names the committee oversees. Contributors included employees of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, the Credit Union National Association, the Investment Company Institute, Wells Fargo and many of the biggest accounting firms and insurance companies.

          Committee members don’t seem particularly ashamed of the favors they do for those providing the cash. Andy Barr, a freshman Republican from Kentucky, promised to protect a tax break worth $500 million to credit unions. (They gave him $15,000.) And he introduced a bill that would allow banks to give mortgages to people who cannot afford them, undoing a federal rule at the request of the big banks’ lobbyists. (Banks have given him at least $47,000.)

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