Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Oregon "Business" Association

A call to arms!

I've grown very tired of organizations in Oregon that take on the mantle of business, and then do nothing but join the choir of pressure groups that push for more government programs or increased government spending on everything from health care to education to saving the salmon.

This is on the top of my mind right now because the Oregon "Business" Association just announced that it has hired Senator Ryan Deckert to be its new president.

Don't get me wrong - Ryan Deckert is a fine guy. He's pretty bright, and he acquitted himself reasonably in his terms in the legislature. But he is no business advocate, and the Oregon "Business" Association is not an advocate for the interests of business in Oregon, either.

We simply cannot allow organizations like the Oregon "Business" Association, without challenge, to carry on the pretense that they speak for business in Oregon. They don't. They are an organization funded by liberal businesses that pushes for liberal public policies. Just because they are funded by businesses doesn't mean they advocate for the interests of business in Oregon.

And tremendous damage happens when we let the Oregon "Business" Association occupy this space in the media, in the legislature, and in other arenas. We can't continue to let it go on.

So from now on, all conservative bloggers I implore you - whenever you write the name, put the word Business in quotation marks.

So, from now on, it is:

The Oregon "Business" Association

It won't solve the whole problem, but it will let them know we are on to their game!


Anonymous said...


You have hit the nail on the head. Many so called "business" advocay groups are nothing of the sort. The OBA is our most prominent.

I've also seen many "public-private" coalitions lack any real private sector influence and have seen local chambers of commerce taken over by governments, non-profits, and public utilities who are heavily government regulated. Small businesses are left out in the cold.

Thanks for bringing this dirty little secret out into the open.

Steve Plunk

Lynn Lundquist, OBA President said...

A call to truth!

Many businesses have grown tired of the philosophy and rhetoric of less services, less government and less taxes as the ultimate goal for Oregonians. Likewise, these same businesses do not seek more services, more government and more taxes as a goal. Rather, they believe there is a middle ground of essential services, essential government and essential taxes.

The Oregon Business Association’s vision is to have a quality Pre-K thru 16 education system, affordable and accessible healthcare, a transportation system that delivers reasonable access at a reasonable cost and a healthy sustainable economy and environment. Simply stated, OBA believes policies that benefit the state create the environment in which businesses can be profitable with long term viability.

The quality of the workforce is very important to a successful business and this can’t be accomplished if our workforce development and education system is not a high priority for employees and employers.

Yes, OBA believes there is a positive relationship between services and business prosperity. Unlike the self-described conservative who called me yesterday and expressed his opposition to the rainy day fund, we not only believe the state should have a reserve fund available during financial downtimes, we promoted it for a long time and were finally successful last session. Letting the most vulnerable people suffer, shortening school years, closing courthouses one day a week, all of which happened during the lost recession, are not acceptable to OBA.

However, this is a free country and anyone has a right to their belief that its all about me and my money and everyone else can fend for themselves.

OBA’s membership is not made up of liberal businesses - but it is made up of businesses that care about Oregon – and that’s good for business.

- Lynn Lundquist, OBA President, Republican, Former Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives

Rob Kremer said...

You actually are making my point.

Each and every one of the issues you mention has a panoply of interest groups already advocating on its behalf. Why do we need a "business group" to add its voice to that chorus?

I have never seen anything come out of OBA that in any way challenged the status quo way of doing things in Oregon.

I've never seen OBA on the other side of an issue from the teachers union. Where was the OBA in the PERS issue? Why did the OBA support CIM and CAM even when it was obvious to everyone (eventually even Susan Castillo) that it was an incredible costly failure?

You say you advocate for a good transportation system - yet I have never seen OBA object to the disproportonate spending on light rail vs. roads.

I've never seen OBA argue for lower taxes. To my knowledge, in fact, the OBA has supported every tax idea that has come down the pike.

Do we really need ANOTHER pressure group to push for this stuff? Argue all you want that higher taxes to fund schools and health care and transit are good for business.

But what we all see from te OBA is just another group that pushes to protect the status quo, while our competitiveness as a state continues to decline.

Anonymous said...

You're a Republican, Lynn?


Anonymous said...

I have followed the Oregon Business Association and Oregon Business Council as both have stood side by side beating every liberal etsablishment status quo drum possible.
Lynn, you have been a pure traitor and have gone out of your way to join the chorus of all things liberal in this state.

Anonymous said...

Portland may be the only city in America that has an anti-business daily newspaper, and anti-business weekly paper, an anti-business business weekly, and two anti-business business organizations. The results - one of the worst urban business environments in America and among the highest unemployment rates - is the result, and well-deserved. Deckert can be counted on to consistently support tax increases on individuals and businesses and every crazy spending scheme that comes down the pike in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. Every single one of you is carping about an issue that DOESNT MATTER. This the same methodology that doctors use: treat the symptoms, not the cause. Why not go directly to the root of the problem? The city government? The state government even? Seriously folks, going after such a small portion of the problem is futile. Even if you do force the OBA to change in some significant way, the net effect is going to be miniscule.

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