Sweetwater GOP ends membership with GR chamber

Fallout from the Green River Chamber of Commerce purchasing campaign signs a week before the special general-purpose tax election Nov. 2 continues as the Sweetwater GOP has opted to end membership with the chamber.

The Green River Chamber of Commerce did not respond to a request for comment prior to press time.

The Sweetwater GOP’s chairwoman, Elizabeth Bingham, said the decision did not relate to the chamber paying for signs supporting the general purpose tax election Nov. 2.

“That would mean boycotting every business that disagrees with you -- that would be insane,” she said.

However, a Bingham cites a lack of communication from the chamber as the main issue spurring the departure.

Bingham said she contacted the chamber Nov. 1 to ask about how the signs identified as being paid for by the chamber were funded, as well as the total expenditures of the signs.

She was told someone would return her call with the information she sought, but never heard back. Afterward, she tried calling the chamber other times between then and Nov. 17, never getting an answer.

Ultimately, the lack of communication necessitated the GOP cancelling its membership with the chamber.

“You can’t do business with people who won’t acknowledge they’re in business with you,” Bingham said.

After contacting the chamber again and saying the Sweetwater GOP planned to cancel its membership, Bingham said she received a response that same day.

The signs purchased by the chamber were originally printed without a tax showing who purchased them. Later, the chamber would place a small sticker on the signs identifying itself as the purchaser.

Weeks following the election, additional questions regarding the signs were asked by the Star, but no responses outside of prepared statements from the chamber’s board of directors were issued to local media.

Last week, the chamber acknowledged it used money initially provided by the city to purchase the signs.

Bingham hasn’t ruled out the possibility of the Sweetwater GOP rejoining the chamber in the future.


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