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Frank talk about an earlier Chamber of Commerce study

By Alec MacGillis
When The Washington Post obtained an e-mail from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce soliciting donations to fund a health care reform study with seemingly foreordained results, Chamber officials denied that they were seeking findings that were anything less than objective.

"It's not saying that we would tell the economist [conducting the study] how it should come out," Chamber senior vice president Randy Johnson told The Post's Michael Shear on Sunday. "It's based on what we think the economist will come out with. It doesn't mean we know what the economist will come out with."

But earlier this year, Johnson was far more candid about the nature of the studies commissioned by business groups to buttress their side in legislative battles. At a breakfast meeting at Chamber headquarters, Johnson urged the business people to tout the findings of a report that had been released just the week before by the Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs, a business coalition.

"We spent a lot of money to come up with this study," he told the business leaders. "It's not what these economic studies say -- it's the cover they give to members who are going to be with us."

The report, written by Anne Layne-Farrar, an economist from LECG Consulting and titled An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implication, found that an increase in 1.5 million union members in one year would lead to the loss of 600,000 jobs by the following year. "Jobs losses directly attributed to the passage of card check legislation would be equal to the entire population of Boston or seventy-five percent of San Francisco," the Chamber's press release on the report stated.

In the confines of the Chamber hall, though, Johnson was refreshingly open about the "empirical" nature of the card-check report. The unions had ordered up their own studies, Johnson noted, and this was the business community's counter.

That language echoed the tone of the e-mail solicitation that recently went out from the Chamber's senior health policy manager, which proposed spending $50,000 to hire a "respected economist" to study the impact of health care legislation: "The economist will then circulate a sign-on letter to hundreds of other economists saying that the bill will kill jobs and hurt the economy. We will then be able to use this open letter to produce advertisements, and as a powerful lobbying and grass-roots document."

The earlier study appears to have helped the Chamber stall card-check legislation. Whether the health care study does the trick as well remains to be seen.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 16, 2009; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  44 Native , Economy  
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This tired old ‘study’ has been debunked repeatedly as nothing more than crackpot economics. Simply what we’ve come to expect from a false messenger like the Chamber of Commerce. Great rebuttal through SEIU from EPI economist Larry Mishel at

Posted by: araw123 | November 17, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Sigh - our Chamber of Commerce, doing their best to make sure our businesses are uncompetitive in global markets.

Let's call a duck a duck - it's the Chamber of the Status Quo.

Posted by: j2hess | November 16, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Health care reform a cruel joke for victims of gov't-enabled silent atrocities -- the same kind of silent, hi-tech torture inflicted on a deposed banana republic president...


• A genocide-politicide hiding in plain sight, enabled by security/military/intel agencies of the federal government -- America's horrific shame.

• Health care facilities infiltrated by gov't enabled "community stalkers" who compromise care of unjustly targeted Americans and their entire families.


Where is the DOJ Civil Rights Division investigation into the covert deployment of silent, harmful, injury- and illness-inducing, health-degrading, neurologically damaging microwave and laser directed energy weapons systems against unjustly targeted Americans and their families by a Bush-legacy, secretive "multi-agency coordinated action program" that continues to commit civil and human rights violations under Team Obama...

...including government-enabled, warrantless GPS-activated, covert "community stalking" harassment, surreptitious home entries, vandalism, and domestic terrorism -- a secretive, federally-enabled grassroots Gestapo? OR RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 16, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Why should we be surprised at this? This is the same organization that stood foursquare behind the Bush Administration's manipulation of the truth. Their role models were Bush, Cheney, Libby, Addington, Gonzales, et al - all folks who decided what they wanted, then told their underlings the rationale they wanted to get those results (e.g., and most egregiously, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq).

When will the American public realize that companies only have one goal - their own profits - and will say/do anything to maximize those profits, public be damned?

Posted by: blondie3 | November 16, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

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