Chamber holds out an olive branch


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by Bertram de Souza (Contact)   | 306 entries"> Untitled document

Democrats in the Mahoning Valley are still smarting over Tom Humphries’ endorsement of Republican John Kasich in last November’s race for governor. And, although Humphries, chief executive officer of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, can claim vindication as a result of Kasich’s victory over Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland, this predominantly Democratic region isn’t ready to forgive, nor forget.

Indeed, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras has wasted no time in linking Humphries to Kasich’s and the GOP’s attack on public employee unions. A letter from the chairman could be forthcoming.

Aware of this political bitterness, the chamber appears to have adopted an appeasement strategy. The business-oriented organization’s keynote speaker for its 2011 annual meeting and luncheon on March 24 is Ed Shultz, anchor of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show”, and a 30-year veteran of television and talk radio.

Here’s what the chamber invitation to the event says about the guest speaker: “A progressive, Shultz is an avid voice for the middle class.”

That doesn’t begin to describe him. Suffice it to say that if uses the transcript of his show Wednesday night — Congressman Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, was a guest — as the template for his chamber speech, there’ll be a lot of businessmen and women squirming in their seats.

He accused the Republicans in Congress and in state governments in Ohio and Wisconsin of class warfare.

Wonder if Shultz will get a standing ovation if he repeats his contention that Republicans are “bastards” who want to destroy the American dream. He did apologize for using the offensive language.

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