"In his razor-tight race for Arizona's open Senate seat, Republican nominee Jeff Flake -- a six-term U.S. congressman -- recently met behind closed doors with about a dozen leading businessmen in the state, including two powerful and respected CEOs: real-estate developer Mike Ingram and former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo.
"Both businessmen supported Mr. Flake's opponent in the Republican primary (Mr. Flake won by 40 points), and both are pushing for federal financing of a road project that would stretch from Phoenix to Las Vegas. In the western part of the state, the 300-mile highway would bisect their 34,000-acre Douglas Ranch, where they have plans to develop a luxury hotel and upscale homes. A person who attended the meeting recalls that the two asked Mr. Flake: 'We need to know. Are you going to be an Arizona senator or a U.S. senator?'
"I'm told that Mr. Flake responded by saying that with the country facing a $16 trillion debt, dealing with that problem was his priority.
Good answer; wrong audience. The two CEOs still haven't endorsed Flake. In an interview Ingram confirmed the meeting and explained that the business executives in the room 'worry that Mr. Flake may not support business compared to [Rich] Carmona ... '"
This report should surprise no one. Big business has often been at ideological odds with conservatism.
For example, many big businesses did business with the Soviet Union. A well-known example was Occidental Petroleum's Armand Hammer -- a major donor to the Republican Party, no less -- who did business whenever possible with Soviet dictators. And Pepsi-Cola began selling its product in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.
How is one to explain the lack of conservative principles among big businessmen? There are two things at work here.
One is an absence of thought.
Whenever I read about multi-millionaire and billionaire businessmen advocating and financially supporting left-wing causes, I am reinforced in my belief that most businessmen are proficient at one thing: making money. I hasten to add this not a criticism. Most doctors are only proficient at practicing medicine, most lawyers are adept at practicing law and most baseball players know more about baseball than anything else.
That is the nature of most excellence. Nearly all people who achieve great success in their field do so because they have been preoccupied with succeeding in that field.
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