Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to stay out of marriage amendment battle

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce apparently doesn’t plan to get involved in the coming battle over the proposed gay marriage ban that will be on the statewide ballot as a constitutional amendment next November.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin covered a speech by the chamber’s senior vice president of public affairs and business development, who told Rochester business people that his group plans to stay out of the fray.

Bill Blazar, the executive, said:

“The current thinking of the Minnesota chamber is not to take a position on that amendment, that we don’t see it as a business issue. But I make it a point to tell everybody that because the election is 10 months away, and if people feel differently, we want to know about it.”

 In the speech, Blazar said he expected the Republican-led Legislature to try to get two more constitutional amendments on the ballot, too: voter ID and right to work. He said the chamber has concerns about that approach to governing.

“Honestly, the debate on what to put on the ballot is far more about how it’s going to affect the election turnout than it is on the merits of the issue, and I think that’s unfortunate because we’re talking about the constitution,” he said.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 12/13/2011 - 11:01 am.

    More often than not, I disagree with the Minnesota Chamber’s politics but this time, I am happy to applaud their position as well as their reasoning behind it. Governing by Constitutional amendment isn’t governing at all.

    Few people in Minnesota know the Legislature and its processes as well as Bill Blazar. When he so clearly recognizes that the Chamber’s closest allies, Republican legislators, are using the Constitutional amendment process for purely political purposes, Minnesotans need to pay attention.

    Amending the Constitution should not be an option when a legislative solution exists. Using constitutional amendments as a substitute for vetoed or unpassable legislation isn’t governing, it’s chaos.

  2. Submitted by David Greene on 12/13/2011 - 04:48 pm.

    TABOR will also likely be voted onto the ballot.

    Minnesota, welcome to California. Same budget crises, different weather.

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