In my current role as president of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce, I want to share with our entire community an issue that we have just dealt with. Printed below is the note we sent to our membership about this issue:
“On Dec. 3, we became aware that the Maine State Chamber of Commerce has evidently endorsed Susan Collins in recent television ad.
“I haven’t seen this ad, but we want you all to know in no uncertain terms that our Chamber does not make political endorsements! We are here to help promote your business and our region: that’s it. We stay out of politics.
“I have spoken with the director of this organization and heard the whole story. The executive summary of this conversation is that this ad was created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and supported by the Maine group. The ad was not intended as an endorsement, just a thank you for some good work. However, realizing how it looks (especially in this election season), they took the ad down as quickly as they could. The director apologized to us for what was a bad call on their part.
“We will keep our membership apprised of any developments on this issue. But you should know that we (Chamber staff and board) do not engage in this sort of political activity and do not think it wise that the state organization did this. I was glad to learn that they agreed!”
I share this with you and rest of our community so that our position of political neutrality is understood by everyone.
Acting Chamber Board president