The following is from Business Week (reg. req.)
and it's by Jeffrey Garten, Dean of the Yale School of Management.
The dangerous silence of business leaders
In today's partisan politics, companies are caught in the crosshairs
It's no secret that extreme partisanship has hijacked deliberations surrounding some of the most important political, economic, and social issues in America... Less well known is that the same divisive forces are spilling over into Corporate America, infecting business organizations, undermining independent regulatory agencies, and intimidating large companies and CEOs from playing a constructive role in public policy....I believe many associations are already acting far too ideologically to represent the pragmatic outlook of most American companies. For example, last year the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which purports to reflect the interests of its 3 million corporate members, broke its longstanding policy of staying neutral in Presidential elections by campaigning against the Kerry-Edwards ticket. The National Association of Manufacturers also has gone astray in mounting a campaign to back socially conservative judges, when its efforts should be fixed on improving the competitiveness of U.S. companies. ...CEOs even have had their arms twisted by the Administration to embrace some of President George W. Bush's controversial policy priorities -- such as private accounts for Social Security -- as a quid pro quo for help on issues such as trade.
Yes, business is becoming a kind of Mafia. It always had its problems, but Garten is barely scratching the surface of what has become a rampant contempt for law.