The Seattle Chamber of Commerce, being a local organization in a liberal city, with many liberal members represented, wants to make it crystal clear that they are not in any way associated with the the U.S. Chamber, which spent millions in the state to pick up the open 3rd district seat, and to oust Patty Murray. ThinkProgress:
Responding to the U.S. Chamber’s right-wing political activities, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce issued a statement yesterday making it clear that it does not want to be associated with the national Chamber:
It has come to our attention that the large number of political ads being run in our area by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has caused some confusion regarding the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
The Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber are separate and distinct organizations.
The Greater Seattle Chamber is an independent, membership-driven association solely governed by our local board of trustees. Under their direction, we focus on issues at the local, regional and state levels.
Your Greater Seattle Chamber has a long history of non-partisanship. There is no connection between the political ads being run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (or any other out-of-state entity for that matter) and your local Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
This isn’t the first time the U.S. Chamber has drawn the ire of local Chambers in that state. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes, in 2004, the U.S. Chamber began blindly running boilerplate ads accusing Democrat Don Barbieri, who was running for a seat in the House of Representatives, of being “anti-business.” The problem was that Barbieri was the long-time CEO of West Coast Hotels, and was the immediate past president of the Greater Spokane Chamber of Commerce.
That wasn't the only 2004 fight the local chamber picked with the U.S. Chamber. That year, the Chamber's primary goal in the state was defeating former state insurance commissioner Deborah Senn in her bid to become attorney general. The tactics used in that 2004 race in Washington were reflected across the nation this cycle.
The U.S. Chamber paid for a $1.5 million television-ad campaign against Senn, a Democrat and former state insurance commissioner. The Chamber placed the ads anonymously through a group called the Voters Education Committee, later revealing its involvement only under legal pressure from the state Public Disclosure Commission....It was roundly rebuked by business groups throughout the state for that, and apologized to the local chamber for the negative impact it had on the local groups' credibility. How things have changed in six years. The Chamber, while it still keeps all its donors secret, doesn't try to hide the fact that they're sponsoring attack ads, and you sure as hell aren't going to see them apologize for it now.
The money for the campaign came from the U.S. Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform, which focuses on restricting liability lawsuits and is involved in 25 state supreme-court and attorney-general campaigns nationwide.
Senn appears to be the winner in a close race in the Democratic primary over former Seattle City Attorney Mark Sidran. The winner will face Metropolitan King County Councilman Rob McKenna, a Republican.
Sidran campaign officials have said they are convinced the Chamber's ad campaign ended up hurting their cause and may have cost them the election.