Suddenly it hit me. The political part of my brain had been freaking out over national politics, as it always does.
Biden's approval rating sucks. Senate Democrats need to do away with the filibuster for voting rights legislation, but Sinema refuses to do this. The 2022 midterms look like a Dem disaster in the making. What's up with Kamala Harris' disappearing act, since I thought she'd run in 2024 rather than Biden.
But then it dawned on me that locally, when it comes to political activities of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, as the saying goes, It's quiet...too quiet.
It's hard to believe that the Chamber has come to accept the current 6-3 progressive majority on the Salem City Council as something they can live with. Sure, maybe Chamber leaders have decided that they'll stay out of city council races, but as much as I'd like this to happen, I doubt that it will.
So I'm wondering whether this is just the calm before a political storm brewing as the May 2022 election for mayor and four city council seats nears. Or has something changed with the Chamber of Commerce that I'm not aware of.
Follow the money is usually a wise political adage.
But when I headed off to the state political contribution reporting system, ORESTAR, the two Chamber of Commerce PACs I'm familiar with displayed not much of it... money.
The Chamber web site still plugs the Build Jobs PAC. It only has $5,978 though, with no cash contributions in 2021.
The Create Jobs Coalition has $394, with a $500 cash contribution in 2021.
Of course, things can change quickly. In 2020 I wrote about how the Chamber of Commerce apparently tried to hide $25,00o in PAC money. Big donors like Mountain West Investment Corporation can change the monetary political landscape with a single check.
For now, though, I'll hope that my 2017 post, "Chamber of Commerce no longer running Salem. Let's keep it that way," holds true.
When I first got heavily involved in Salem politics about four and a half years ago (after the horrendous needless killing of the U.S. Bank trees got my ire up), fellow progressive citizen activists would tell me, "The Chamber of Commerce runs this town."
Well, this isn't true any more. And that's a very good thing.