Someone better check the IT department at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because someone just got hold of a “confidential memo” and leaked it to us!
To: Board of Directors, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Institute for Legal Reform
From: ILR Leadership, Staff
Date: October 11, 2017
Re: Every single time!
Well, the Center for Justice & Democracy is at it again. Another one of their reports is out, reviewing internal small business surveys. Yet again, it confirms that “lawsuits,” or the “cost” of lawsuits, is an issue of less importance to small businesses than almost anything else they could possibly imagine. And this time, CJ&D really decided to stick it to us by including our own small business index — which confirms the exact same thing. What is happening?! (I suppose we should at least thank CJ&D for compiling all these surveys in one place).
Look, we’ve tried everything. Using “real housewives” as bait for our “small business summit,” so at least we could ply as many as possible with disinformation. Using our own fake news outlets to push out our phony surveys, hoping to convince them to care. Aligning with other lobby groups, only to find out their work completely undermines us. We are running out of options!
As we all know, it’s been a challenge to coax small businesses into believing we care about them, when multi-million dollar corporate donors dominate our income stream, and we keep doing things directly against their interests. When it comes to issues like “litigation” and “lawsuits,” we seem to be drifting even further apart — no matter how many pop culture icons we pay to impress them.
As you know, in 1998, we were created ILR to pursue the Chamber’s “tort reform” agenda: protecting bad corporations from accountability, weakening the civil jury system and blocking the courthouse door for sick and injured Americans. But let’s face it, we want to block access to court for small businesses, too. They sue big companies a lot. Why would they want their own rights stripped away?
Of course, they don’t. That’s why, when we do surveys supporting “tort reform,” we can't ask small businesses what they think about the idea. We have to go to $100 million companies, and ask their in-house corporate lawyers who, as one expert put it, are “likely the very attorneys who experienced the professional embarrassment of losing at trial, naturally wanting to blame the states’ courts for their loss.” That’s just not honest.
Not sure what to do, but thanks for letting us vent. It’s been a frustrating few months!