Chamber of Commerce poll leaked: 80% of members support minimum wage hike

Chamber of Commerce poll leaked: 80% of members support minimum wage hike

Even as lobbyists for the Maine State Chamber of Commerce have been attempting to derail Maine’s minimum wage referendum, their own strategists have been telling them that their members aren’t with them, and actually support raising the minimum wage.

Slide from the LuntzGlobal presentation to the Council of Chambers

Slide from the LuntzGlobal presentation to the Council of Chambers

According to leaked documents from a poll conducted by conservative messaging consultant Frank Luntz for the national Council of State Chambers of Commerce, of which the Maine Chamber is a member, 80% of state chamber members and prospective member businesses support a minimum wage increase.

“If you’re fighting against a minimum wage increase, you’re fighting an uphill battle, because most Americans, even most Republicans, are okay with raising the minimum wage,” LuntzGlobal managing director David Merrit can be heard saying in an audio recording of the presentation.

The presentation and related documents were obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy and published Monday in the Washington Post.

“The Chamber’s own poll is simply the latest evidence of how far out of touch some of these corporate lobby groups are with the real community business owners who power the Maine economy,” said Will Ikard, director of the Maine Small Business Coalition, which supports the referendum to incrementally raise Maine’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020. “Raising the minimum wage is a common-sense policy that will improve the lives of tens of thousands of Mainers who are working hard and struggling to make ends meet. Putting money in their pockets will boost local economies and local businesses throughout Maine.”

Photo: Maine State Chamber of Commerce lobbyists discuss the minimum wage in a recent video release.

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