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Sharon Steckman and Amanda Ragan: Do you stand with Democratic ideals or the agenda of the Chamber of Commerce?

Editorial by Matt Marquardt –

What is Robin Anderson doing in Des Moines, meeting with our two Democratic legislators, Sharon Steckman and Amanda Ragan?

According to a post made Thursday on the Mason City Chamber’s Facebook page, which has a whopping 335 followers, Anderson “had a great day in Des Moines yesterday learning about governmental issues that may impact local businesses” and they posted the photo you see accompanied with this story.

You can bet Anderson’s not there in the best interests of the average Mason City citizen, and probably not doing a whole lot for 99% of the small businesses that somehow feel the need to belong to the Chamber, but feeling and looking important is the juice for some people, and Robin loves to strut around with people and act important.  I wonder if Anderson knows she is losing a Chamber member this month when another downtown business, The Clothesline, closes?  How many does that make in the last year or two, Robin?  By the way, from what I am told, you are really reaching with some of your new recruits.

Perhaps Anderson is in Des Moines lobbying for millions more state dollars for her posh Commerce Center, located in her pal Eric Bookmeyer’s “Cultural Crescent.”  You can’t miss the $1.5 million Commerce Center, it’s the one with the Frank Lloyd Wright lamps and the granite counter tops that we all paid for, courtesy of state funding Steckman and Ragan helped secure for Anderson.

Mason City is known as a blue collar town.  According to my research, the Chamber of Commerce is anti-labor and according to one source, “has been campaigning against unions, fair labor practices, increases in the minimum wage, and legal protections for America’s workers for nearly a century.”  In fact, I have been told more than once by politically-connected folks here in Mason City that our Chamber over the years has fought to keep wages down here in Mason City.  Apparently, our larger employers who are Chamber of Commerce members do not want competition from new industry coming to town, and offering better wages.  They might then have to raise their wages.  Could this be one reason Mason City has not seen any new industry of note come to town in years?  Just last February, a peer of Mason City’s, Fort Dodge, bragged about the hundreds of new jobs coming there.  Meanwhile, our delusional Mayor Eric Bookmeyer recently took credit for unemployment of 5% in Mason City.  He might be right, as McDonald’s and Wal-Mart are teaming with $8 per hour workers.  See what can be accomplished when City Hall, state legislators and the Chamber of Commerce work together?

Why would two Democratic legislators spend time with this woman and associate with this organization, helping it secure millions of our tax dollars, while it clearly cares nothing for the common person?  What has the Mason City Chamber of Commerce done for Mason City besides use its political connections at City Hall to force us to buy sculptures?  Is this not the height of hypocrisy?

Sharon, Amanda, perhaps you can explain this Saturday at your town hall meeting you are holding at the Mason City Library at 10 AM:  Do you stand with Democratic ideals or the agenda of the Chamber of Commerce?

Sharon Steckman (left) and Amanda Ragan (right) met with The Chamber of Commerce's Robin Anderson at the Iowa Capitol this week.
Sharon Steckman (left) and Amanda Ragan (right) met with The Chamber of Commerce’s Robin Anderson at the Iowa Capitol this week.
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