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Chamber Hears Role of Business in Politics

Elections, Richmond visit and annual meeting held.

”Political Parties don’t mean as much as they did 10-15 years ago.”

This was one of the several insights that Greg Casey shared with members of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce at their annual meeting this week.

The president and CEO of BIPAC, Greg Casey works with Fortune 1000 companies to give them “analysis of candidates, leadership on political strategy and tactics, and identification of the most important Congressional races for business.”

While Casey has spoken at events all over the country; this week he spoke in his own back yard. A resident of Yacht Haven, he was only minutes from home as he spoke at the Mount Vernon Inn.

Casey emphasized to chamber members that the role of the business leader is far greater than before and stressed how many more employees rely on their company for political information. He cited some statistics that showed that the grassroots impact of business was becoming stronger than that of organized labor.

“We’re in the middle of a changing paradigm,” Casey said.

Because BIPAC is an independent, bipartisan organization supported by several hundred of the nation’s leading businesses and trade associations, Casey said that his role is to “identify and support pro-business candidates who have demonstrated the skill and leadership necessary to fuel a pro-business Congress.” It just so happens that the Republicans have held that role for the past five years, but he said that could all change in the mid-term elections of 2006.

Casey spent a few more minutes explaining the 2004 post-election voter analysis that BIPAC had done; their numbers dispute many of the theories populated by the media about the “Christian right” winning the election. He then answered a few questions from the audience. In response to Steve Chaconas’ question about the role of the chamber, Casey said, “It was to educate, not to endorse.”

When Dan Rinzel asked about what role media played in politics, Casey said, “The media missed the whole thing. The media just doesn’t drive people’s attitudes like it used to.”