U.S. Chamber of Commerce coming to Silicon Valley

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among the most powerful business lobbying organizations in Washington, is planning a second outpost in Silicon Valley in an effort to broaden its membership and clout,” Jonathan Krim reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The Chamber is expected to announce Tuesday that its second-in-command, David Chavern, 51, will relinquish his role as chief operating officer to lead the initiative. Mr. Chavern has been meeting with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and leaders to both lay out the Chamber’s plans and to hear ideas on how the group can best help technology executives. Their businesses are increasingly confronting thorny public-policy issues, such as immigration, privacy, security and taxation.”

“Mr. Chavern said that while some major tech companies belong to the organization, he is especially focused on getting more small and midsize tech firms to join, as well as venture capitalists and other investors. The Chamber, which was founded in 1912, doesn’t disclose specific companies among its more than 300,000 members,” Krim reports. “Mr. Chavern said he hopes that the Chamber’s pro-business, low-tax, minimal regulation views will fit the sensibilities of technology companies. ‘The best representatives of our ideals are here’ in Silicon Valley, he said.”

“The Chamber’s success in Silicon Valley is an open question. Big tech companies already have active lobbying shops in Washington, and there are myriad technology trade groups. The Chamber has overwhelmingly backed Republican candidates in recent election cycles, and some of its positions aren’t universally popular in Silicon Valley,” Krim reports. “Apple Inc. quit the Chamber in 2009 after deciding the group was fighting against measures that would limit greenhouse gas emissions… ‘I don’t really think we need them here,’ said Carl Bass, president and CEO of software maker Autodesk Inc. He said he doesn’t think the Chamber’s politics and positions will sit well with the broad Valley constituency.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


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