Wednesday, November 07, 2018

If I Back That The Chamber Will Go After Me

I've told this story before but it was one of my big "oh, of course, that's how it works" moments. Maybe I am just stupid and this is obvious! But I don't think it's something that is generally explained to people.

Anyway, the story is: I asked a certain senator (hint he might be losing re-election) why he didn't get on board with a minimum wage increase ballot measure increase. I don't remember if it was something that was actually on the ballot, or if I was suggesting it as something to increase turnout (this was.. I dunno... 2006? I guess). He responded that with the quote in the title. And he didn't mean that the Chamber of Commerce would attack him about increasing the minimum wage, because that was popular! He meant that the Chamber would run ads accusing him of all sorts of unpopular things. It wasn't the issue, it was the money that the issue would unleash against him.

This is a real thing that politicians have to deal with, but there's a difference between "this is an unpopular issue with voters" and "this is an unpopular issue with people with lots of money" and often our dumb discourse does not adequately point out this difference.