Civil Beat got the question wrong in its ‘Does Lingle support the Chamber of Commerce?’ commentary on May 18, 2012.

The questions Civil Beat should be asking are: “Why does the Chamber of Commerce support Lingle?” and “Is that good for Hawaii?”

The Chamber of Commerce represents over 3 million businesses nationwide of all sizes, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. It is focused on creating jobs for the 15 million Americans who are unemployed, under-employed or who have given up looking for work.

Former Governor Linda Lingle is also focused on policies and initiatives that create jobs and economic growth. And Linda Lingle will act in a bipartisan manner, working with political leaders from both parties, including President Obama if he is reelected or Mitt Romney if he is elected. She will do what is best for the people of Hawaii, and will always put people ahead of political party.

When Civil Beat makes President Obama the issue it misses the point. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports Linda Lingle for the United States Senate because her record as Mayor of Maui and Governor of Hawaii show she is the only candidate running who has a record of creating a positive economic climate that produced job growth.

The Chamber’s “Six-Point Plan for Job Creation” includes attracting more tourists and business visitors to the United States, with an objective of creating 1.3 million jobs by 2020. As Governor, Linda Lingle was a consistent and forceful advocate for easing foreign visa restrictions and the Visa Waiver status for South Korea and direct flights from China. Governor Lingle’s platform includes getting a Subcommittee on Tourism created in the U.S. Senate.

A vibrant and growing visitor industry is one of the reasons the Chamber of Commerce supports Linda Lingle and that is good for Hawaii.

The Chamber’s job creation plan also includes expanding international trade, leading again to jobs for Americans. During her terms as Governor, Linda Lingle oversaw an 85 percent increase of Hawaii exports to Asia from 2003-2010, and signed trade and commercial agreements with China, Korea and other countries in the Asia Pacific region. If elected Senator, Linda Lingle will use that experience to advocate for and enforce market-access trade and intellectual property protection agreements for American companies.

Increasing international trade is another one of the reasons the Chamber of Commerce supports Linda Lingle and that is good for Hawaii.

Producing more indigenous energy is also part of the Chamber’s six-point job creation plan for America. As Governor, Linda Lingle initiated and implemented the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), acknowledged to be the leading state energy policy in the nation, focused on using Hawaii’s local energy resources. If elected Senator, Linda Lingle will leverage that real-world experience to help put the nation on the path to energy security by fully developing America’s own energy resources.

Growing our nation’s energy industry and creating more jobs is another one of the reasons the Chamber of Commerce supports Linda Lingle and that is good for Hawaii.

These are a few of the job-creating reasons why the Chamber of Commerce supports Linda Lingle. Achieving these job-creating objectives that the Chamber and Linda Lingle share in common will be good for Hawaii and for our nation.

For Hawaii, this election should be about which candidate for U.S. Senator has the experience and will advocate for policies that grow our economy. The Chamber of Commerce recognizes that Linda Lingle is the best candidate to do this and that is the reason it supports her.

About the author: Maj. General (U.S. Army, retired) Bob Lee is serving as campaign manager for the Linda Lingle Senate Committee, as his first foray into politics. General Lee is the former State Adjutant General, head of the Hawaii National Guard, Hawaii director of Homeland Security and a member of Governor Linda Lingle’s cabinet for eight years.