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Rarely, if ever, has the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce butted heads with Mayor Jerry Sanders. But every indication from the Chamber is that it will oppose Proposition D, the Sanders-championed sales tax and financial reform ballot measure. The Chamber could make its decision as soon as tomorrow.
Sanders’ close ties with the business community has been one of his administration’s hallmarks. He’s even formed a network of business leaders to help push his agenda.
A Chamber rebuke of Prop. D would represent a sharp break from the organization’s support of Sanders’ efforts at financial reform. The mayor has said Prop. D would “clear the final obstacles” to implementing his fiscal agenda.
Last month, Ruben Barrales, the Chamber’s CEO, told me he couldn’t “think of anyone who has actually delivered more in terms of fiscal reform” than the mayor.
In fact, Barrales couldn’t recall any issue where the Chamber and the mayor disagreed.
“We pick our issues based on what’s important to us,” Barrales said then. “The issues that have been important to the Chamber, the small business community, the mayor’s been with us.”
Chamber backing could help Prop. D. supporters raise money from Chamber members to fund what’s likely to be an expensive campaign. Also, an endorsement from one of the city’s most well-known business groups could allow proponents to claim broad-based support for the measure. Erik Bruvold, head of the National University System Institute for Policy Research think tank, tweeted yesterday a Chamber endorsement likely would be featured in every Yes on D ad.
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