Not only ‘smaller towns’ that object to state chamber

Kansas Chamber of Commerce president Kent Beisner dismissed the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce’s decision to drop its state membership, saying that “smaller-town chambers” don’t like to get involved in politics. But it isn’t politics per se that they object to; it’s the state chamber’s extremism that led it to try to purge quality lawmakers such as state Sen. Carolyn McGinn (in photo), R-Sedgwick. And it isn’t only smaller towns that object. Local chambers that have pulled out of the state chamber include the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and those in Lawrence, Lenexa, Shawnee, Hutchinson, Hays, Arkansas City, Winfield, Salina and Kansas City, Kan. In Wichita, the debate is whether the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and its political action committee have become too much like the Kansas chamber.