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Think Out Loud

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Pete Springer/OPB

It’s no surprise when business interest groups and public employee unions don’t see eye-to-eye, but in Oregon, these two groups were more were bitterly divided than usual over two tax measures that passed in January. In the aftermath, business lobbyists are taking a page from the union handbook in trying to form a broad coalition of like-minded groups. This had us wondering: what else do these two groups have in common, besides strong political influence (often on opposite sides of an issue)? Where do their interests overlap? What common enemies do they have? Are there big goals that they share, even if they’re not in total agreement about how to achieve those goals?

Are you a member of a union? Do you belong to a business association? Do you have experience in both worlds? Where do you see the common ground?


  • Ryan Deckert: President of the Oregon Business Association and former Oregon state legislator
  • Arthur Towers: Political director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 503

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