Hankering to be publicly recognized as a “Champion of Small Business?”
If you’ve been in politics the last few years, it’s been surprisingly easy. And it’s a label that provides useful bragging rights.
The reason? Few voters have the time to investigate what’s behind the label, which always looks authoritative on a politician’s brochure.
To get so designated during these last few years, all many legislators had to do was to introduce legislation — either state or federal — that some companies out of Louisiana were very happy to write up for them.
Introduce such legislation and, not too long afterward, you could pretty much expect to be officially anointed as a “Champion of Small Business” by a little nonprofit closely affiliated with those same out-of-Louisiana companies
The nonprofit — calling itself “The National Coalition for Capital” — handed out its accolades at posh dinners in cities wherever the National Conference of State Legislatures was holding its annual meetings. Photos were taken by coalition staffers to memorialize the occasion and provide fodder for news releases. Later sent to state and local newspapers, the packets thus helped build the prominence of agreeable lawmakers.
A recent Nevada Journal search of the Web for any joint appearances of the phrases “National Coalition for Capital” and “Champion[s] of Small Business,” produced names of over 60 individuals. Primarily these were state legislators, to whom the coalition applied the label, between the years of 2008 and 2015.
Virtually all of these state lawmakers — reviews of their legislative records reveal — had introduced legislation sought by the sponsors of the nonprofit. Those sponsors were, according to a 2011 article by the Portland, Maine Press-Herald, Advantage Capital Partners, Enhanced Capital Partners and the Stonehenge Capital Fund.
All three firms — doing business as “community development entities” — are receiving and selling insurance tax credits under the Nevada New Markets Job Act that state legislators passed in 2013.
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