Chamber of Commerce says Alabama candidate Dean Young lying about them

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Sour grapes?

That’s how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is explaining why they now are under attack by a Republican candidate who didn’t get their endorsement this week in Alabama’s special congressional election.

The Chamber says the candidate — Dean Young, a religious right favorite — is not being truthful when he says he didn’t want their endorsement. In fact, the pro-business group says, Young actively sought their assistance in the race.

“Bizarre melt down: Dean Young seeks US Chamber endorsement. Doesn’t get it. Now says he wouldn’t have taken it,” Rob Engstrom, the Chamber’s National Political Director, tweeted this week.

Added Engstrom: “Dean Young is not telling the truth. He sought the endorsement. Filled out questionnaire.”

It started this week when the Chamber endorsed Republican Bradley Byrne in the special election to replace Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner, who resigned this year to take a new job. Byrne and Young were the top finishers in last month’s primary, and will face each other in a run off Tuesday.

After they endorsed Byrne and pledged to spend thousands on his behalf, Young attacked the group:

“Why would anyone want the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber, who defended BP by calling for a government bailout to clean up the Gulf instead of holding BP responsible and today supports President Obama’s immigration plan to give amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens?” Young told the Mobile Press-Register. “I’m campaigning for the endorsement of Alabama voters who are ready to change America.”

The Chamber of Commerce endorsement has been significant: Not only are they spending $185,000 on the race — including on positive direct mail for Byrne — but Young has been able to use his lines of attack against the group to secure the endorsements of influential conservatives Mark Levin and Erick Erickson. Both supporters mentioned the Chamber’s endorsement of Byrne as a reason for endorsing Young.

But in a series of tweets since they weighed in the race, Engstrom of the Chamber has said Young is not “telling the truth,” describing it as “bizarre.”



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